Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT is a licensed therapist in Pennsylvania. Elizabeth offers individual, couples, and group therapy in Center City, Philadelphia. Elizabeth is warm, compassionate, and often uses humor with her clients.
What made you become a therapist?
As a young person I always knew I wanted to help others but was never quite sure of how. I was always fascinated with the complex lives of others (See “Sonder”). I considered being a teacher or an attorney acting as a child advocate but never even thought of therapy. I worked abroad in an orphanage teaching English and upon my return completed my degree in organizational development and teaching. However, I recognized that I much preferred developing one-on-one relationships with my students and their families and that teaching and managing a group of children was a talent I did not have (sending a serious shout out to teachers for the incredibly difficult work you do).
One day, as I was driving down I-95 to my waitressing job, I saw a university billboard advertising a Marriage and Family Therapy program. I immediately thought “this is it!” After work I rushed straight to my computer and applied to the program. Since then, I feel passion and gratitude for my career path.
What are your specialties?
I specialize in couples/relationship issues and grief and trauma. I enjoy working with couples that are in a “crisis” situation. I am trained in Gottman Method, a highly researched and successful form of couples therapy. I appreciate the willingness of couples to sit down with each other and their therapist to discuss difficult events like infidelity and betrayal, sexual issues, regrettable fights, and the death of a loved one. I also help individuals grieving the end of a relationship.
I began my mental health career in New Orleans, LA after Hurricane Katrina and it was there that I began a deep appreciation for the transformative work of trauma focused and grief therapy. It is an honor and privilege to be beside my clients as they work though that type of pain.
Why do you believe therapy can help?
Our lives are spent thinking and feeling concern about how we should behave, what we should say, how much we can share. Therapy is a place where you can let all of that rest and allow yourself to be. It is because of this that you can truly be seen by another and also take an honest and compassionate look at yourself.
What are some books that inspire you?
I am an avid reader and enjoy a variety of genres. A House in the Sky because of it’s clear illustration of human resilience, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage work because of the straight forward tips it offers for a healthy marriage, and The Gifts of Imperfection because of the important reminder that shame takes up far too much room in our lives.
What are your favorite self care activities?
Spending quality time with my husband and son is so special and important to me. As a family we like to listen to music, take day trips, and go on walks. My husband and I are avid travelers. I absolutely love Pilates – it was an important aspect of my physical health after childbirth. I also enjoy any opportunity to be creative – painting and writing are a couple of my favorites.