Alisia Caban, PhD
Assistant Director, Assistant Clinical Director, IPV Coordinator
I strongly identify as a generalist and enjoy working with a wide variety of presenting concerns. However, like most clinicians, I do have specific areas of interest in which I am particularly drawn to working with and have sought opportunities to build additional knowledge and learn new modes of intervening. My clinical areas of interest include: eating disorder and body image concerns, trauma, self-injurious behavior, grief and loss, family of origin concerns, and working with various cultural identities (e.g., ethnic and racial, sexual orientation, gender, social class, ability, and religion and spirituality).
In addition to my clinical interests, I also have strong research interests. My research interests include: program evaluation, training, multicultural competence development, issues of power and privilege, and retention of underrepresented students in college. I value the potential this research has to inform decision-making and to help assess program effectiveness. In addition, I appreciate research as a tool to developing better understanding of the student experience and potential barriers to student success.
Theoretical Orientation and Therapy Approach
My theoretical approach is primarily interpersonal process (IPT) embedded within a multicultural and feminist framework. Working from an interpersonal process approach, I consider clients’ cognitive schemas, relational patterns, and coping strategies to be influenced by cultural context and to originate from past developmental experiences. Naturally resilient, I believe most clients develop coping strategies early in their development in an effort to establish and/or maintain relationships. Problems arise when coping strategies that once worked for the client are no longer effective and result in problematic patterns that negatively impact the client’s interpersonal relationships. By establishing a caring relationship that conveys empathy, respect, and value for clients and their context, I work to create a safe environment for intervening in the moment. I utilize interventions from a number of theoretical approaches and clinical models including IPT, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, mindfulness, internal family systems, and motivational interviewing. In addition, I make it a point to acknowledge and address socio-political contexts as they relate to the clients’ personal experiences.
Supervision Approach and Model
As a supervisor, I strive to meet trainees where they are at developmentally, providing more or less structure as needed. I enjoy working collaboratively with trainees and try to be mindful of power dynamics and cultural factors within the supervisory relationship. I strive to be genuine, open, and direct in my approach. It is my hope to build a trusting relationship that provides space for discussing supervisees’ strengths and areas of growth. Given my background in interpersonal process, I focus quite a bit on interpersonal dynamics within the supervisory relationship as well as within the counselor-client relationship. When discussing client cases, I will at times provide concrete suggestions in an effort to provide trainees with more “tools”, but I also like to discuss how these “tools” can be used in a manner that fits with trainees’ clinical style and approach. I also like to focus on trainees’ development as an emerging professional. I feel that it is important to honor supervisees’ expertise and help them feel ready for their next step as a professional.
I truly enjoy supervision and greatly value the opportunity to work with trainees of all levels. I see supervision as a dual-learning process and I continue to learn and grow from my supervisees. I am also a big fan of using humor in the supervisory relationship. For better or worse, I like to think that I am funny.