Client Clips & Quips

What's the skinny?

What past clients shared about working with me...

On a regular basis, I evaluate my effectiveness with clients to be sure we agree what constitutes “SUCCESS”. As a part of that process evaluation, I ask how clients are thinking/feeling/acting differently as a result of their work with me. No one is under an obligation to provide feedback, but to those who do, I offer a chance to share with others their views on their own progress—their “take away” from their work with me. Most of these clips are from clients who’ve finished the work in therapy and who may or may not engage in follow up work at pre-set intervals. Here are some clippings from prior clients.

People are saying I look younger now (and I am old)…not everyone is pleased with the changes in me, but I am feeling less vulnerable, sensitive, anxious, and less responsible for other people’s feelings. (that’s big!) I am more empowered, more secure within myself, regardless of my circumstances. Dr. Hayes’s style was made for me! She recognized immediately what my problem has been and she helped me recognize it so I can live the way I have always wanted to live [unafraid of other people’s opinions all the time.] These days I don’t immediately wonder what I have done to upset my spouse, to take it on myself. As I finish my work with Dr. Hayes, I will be reminding myself to keep my eyes on Jesus and not on my circumstances. I have seen counselors off/on for years who never “got it” but (Dr. Hayes) immediately understood. She is not afraid to get right to the point, even if you don’t want to hear it. You know she understands [what it takes to change]. The hardest but best skill have learned in therapy is to be willing to let go of [the illusion of] control, let it not matter as much as your peace. If anyone I know is thinking about getting therapy I’d say to them, “it’s been SO helpful to me! Why the stigma? So ridiculous!” I was genuinely surprised by the fact that each and every session was wonderfully helpful. I never came away thinking it was a waste of time–each one was helpful in meeting the next step, which helped with the next step, etc. to meet the goals we set together. I used to believe when [my spouse] was angry or grumpy, it was my fault and my job to fix it, but now I don’t bite the grumpy hook, and I don’t allow [my spouse] to start the blame game. I don’t fish for reasons to please him. I just accept him as he is.

KK, Hondo

I believe the work on the family has been insightful, but we still have a long way to go. Emotionally, I am feeling broken down, because I have kept all of my feelings in check and i am now having to confront them. I am not comfortable to put it all out there yet, but I do think we are working to focus on increasing the efforts in communication and emotional expression–to strengthen the connection with one another [in our family]. Dr. Hayes is quite challenging in her interactions with each member of our family system, and I think our biggest improvement so far has been openness to religious discussion–applying our beliefs. I’d like to have more ideas on how to start and continue conversation without putting others on the defensive, but it is early in our work.

KGr, Castroville

At the end of my work with Dr. Hayes, the results have been beyond my expectations! I am more confident in my relationship with the Lord and myself. As a result of my work, I am continuing the steps taught to me in setting boundaries, staying vertical in my relationship with God, and stopping myself BEFORE reacting to ask myself, “why am I doing what I am doing.” Dr. Hayes is very professional and her approach was tailored to fit what I needed. My biggest area of growth has been learning to RESPOND rather than REACT. While looking at the past–things I have done–has been difficult, I can’t think of a thing I’d change about how my therapy was accomplished. My overall experience with Dr. Hayes has been deeply connected, life-changing, insightful and liberating, sometimes a roller-coaster of emotions, but always safe, client-focused and well-paced. She is truly accountable and straightforward in her work. I found myself surprised about how comfortable I was in totally opening myself up, with “no holds barred.” My work was “FREEING”. While [I found] Dr. Hayes easy to open up to, she also told (me) when (my) choice was not a good one (i.e., like when I used sarcasm as a defensive mechanism) because it did not fit my goal for how to treat others.

DSo, Hondo

I think therapy has taken our marriage (and the individuals in the marriage) light years from where we were when we first arrived. I am feeling secure, confident, enlightened, aware, and refreshed. Our goals changed from session to session, focusing on learning how to communicate, pray for each other, and how to stand each other for more than one second…always, the marriage as a unit, and a personal alignment with God, to trust, pray, and let God work. I believe we have made amazing, miraculous progress, and that Dr. Hayes has been deeply engaging, meaningful to our family, and exactly what we have needed. We, my family and marriage, are blessed by every session. The seeds (Dr. Hayes) planted will only mature and that’s exciting!

HB, Devine

I think therapy has been very helpful. I am feeling much better in learning to deal with my emotions, and am comfortable and gaining more confidence. I am working to face my fears and anxiety, and to do more for myself! I experience Dr. Hayes as amazing and very helpful. She has taught me about ME, and I tend to forget about me, too often. I have felt a reduction in my fear and anxiety, but still want to learn more about dealing with death –but so far, I have learned a LOT. I’d tell anyone thinking about getting help, that it really can help.

DGi, Castroville

I think my work progressed very well. I am “seeing” things that I had not seen previously in myself in the way I interact with myself. Emotionally, I am refreshed and focused after my work with Dr. Hayes. My focus in work has been “spot on” though we seem to discuss issues I had not previously noted, I feel we are finding what is most important. Dr. Hayes is both tough and kind, and I have made some slow but much needed progress. Most notably, I find when someone specifically uses words that are disrespectful, I stop the conversation immediately, calmly. I have felt an enormous relief that change is possible; I’d have liked my feet held to the fire more, making me complete my (therapy) tasks.

KC, Sabinal

I have found therapy extremely helpful and rewarding, even the hard stuff has been valuable and worth the effort. After working with Dr. Hayes, I am feeling blessed and more confident. Our goals have been to mend and increase the bonds in my family by evaluating and organizing our priorities, and improving our skills to accept, deal with, and value each other, and to deepen our faith and commitment to God. Dr. Hayes’ style with my husband and me has been patient, compassionate, caring, and just the right amount of “push”. Without therapy, I believe we would be divorced and lost. Our most noticeable success has been to correct our priorities, our expectations, and apply our faith. I’d still like help knowing how to help my husband deal with his disappointments.

LiB, Hondo

I think my work with Dr. Hayes has been about learning new ways of, and understanding how, the process of grieving works. I am feeling much better about everything connected to my grief than (I was) when we started. My goals were being able to understand the grief/loss process and how it relates to my life without (my wife) and helping the kids, grandkids, and the great-grandchild (deal with the loss). I experienced Dr. Hayes’s style as strict and steadfast, as well as understanding and helpful. My most notable change has been my ability to better understand my grief feelings and everything connected to them. One word to describe my work with Dr. Hayes has been ‘meaningful.’

HCh, Devine

Therapy has been very important in the healing of my relationship (with my wife). I’ve gained good tools and techniques to help in our relationship. At the end of our work, I was satisfied, happy, relieved, and hopeful. Our goals helped find a starting point for us to use to strengthen our bond and our family. With my wife and myself, Dr. Hayes has been very thoughtful, provoking, caring, and different than I expected. We have made excellent progress and I believe that without therapy, we would still be struggling, possibly separated. Our biggest change has been the lowering of our “walls”. A phrase that describes my experience overall has been “profoundly life-changing.”

BB, Hondo

The most noticeable thing is my sons and daughters in law say they have seen a lot of difference; now I am happy. Before, I’d start crying if I just looked at them. I’d cry thinking of (my husband) because I knew they were also sad. I see things differently; I still cry but not breaking down. Crying helps me clear my head and I am stronger and more accepting of my sadness. … I feel like I’ve known (Dr. Hayes) all of my life. The growth I accomplished in therapy with Dr. Hayes, is my mind is clear. Before I was foggy all the time; I see each day different, even if it’s a cloudy day, I still see the sun. Before, I just saw sadness–I thought I’d never overcome my sadness. Life is beautiful now.

OC, Hondo

Working with (Dr. Hayes) has been emotionally and mentally challenging (positive). She has a God-given gift to provide therapy to an eclectic background of people from diverse cultures. Dr. Hayes can see beyond the natural and minister to the hurting and lost. She helps “the least of these.” It is a blessing to have met her and I pray that she helps many other hurting souls.

ALa, San Antonio

Leslie Hayes has been a Godsend to my family and I. She has helped my children ranging in ages from 14 years to 24 years during a very difficult family tragedy. Each child had very different needs and she was able to meet each child exactly where they were and help them to open up. She has a very unique down to earth approach of getting to the heart of the issues with care and compassion. I could not have made it through this difficult situation without her guidance, support and understanding. Her commitment to helping others is so evident in her sessions. She turns helplessness into hopefulness. She turns pain into peace. She turns a tragedy into a triumph. She is an incredible family therapist and I am so thankful that God sent her to us in our time of need. Thank You, Leslie for your devotion to caring, serving, and bringing unity back to our family!

MK, San Antonio

I feel like I have achieved my goals! I owe “my all” to Dr. Hayes, I hadn’t realized how lost I was. I feel galvanized–she put me at ease and was always cognizant of my feelings. I truly cherish the bond we have established!

VP, Castroville

I found therapy with Dr. Hayes to be effective for my needs. After my work has finished, I feel satisfied and content (with my life). What I have tried to focus on in my work with Dr. Hayes, is learning to put my wife first; I have found her to be very effective, compared to other (counselors). I made good progress in my work especially in trying to show my wife that she matters. Something I still struggle with is developing patience. I would describe work with Dr. Hayes as profoundly life-changing and somewhat important.

KP- Hondo

I think my therapy experience was deeply engaging, always meaningful, at times tense, due to subject matter, a match to my needs , though uncomfortable at times. At the end of my work, I feel goal-focused, energized, somewhat unsettled, aware, moved, and more clearly recharged. Dr. Hayes’s intervention style was always understanding, warm, direct, sensitive, challenging, and caring and relevant to my life. Dr. Hayes is incredible at what she does.

KiS, Natalia

The process has been extremely productive, revealing,affirming, and relieving! It’s nice to know I don’t have to walk on eggshells with (my son). I am feeling stronger and confident in my feelings–happy to have a lot of this strife behind us, looking ahead to a promising future as a family. I experienced Dr. Hayes as relaxed, inviting, genuine, sincere, compassionate and Christ-centered. We have made exceptional progress so far. Dr. Hayes has a gift for knowing just how much is needed per session. The entire process has yielded positive results for our marriage.

LG, Hondo

In working toward a better relationship by work on bettering ourselves and our communication skills, I feel better about myself because I have realized that I am not the only one who feels this way…(so, validated). I’d describe Dr. Hayes as patient, very understanding, but always makes you answer the question that you don’t want to answer (but you know it’s a good thing.) I find it an enormous relief when I can ask (my partner) for the help I need.

Kr, Hondo

I am finding therapy with Dr. Hayes very helpful in the process of fixing issues within my family and I am excited at the outlook for the future of my marriage. I find Dr. Hayes to have a caring and open mind. The biggest change I see is in the length of the arguments we (my spouse and me) have (shorter)–this is exactly what we have needed to do.

JB, San Antonio

I find Dr. Hayes’ intervention style as focused and great because she tries to get to the root of the problem–we (my wife and me) discuss issues more and explain our feelings better.

CP, San Antonio

It (therapy) has been a very good process and powerful in helping the Spirit work.

TG, Kerrville

This has been one of the most wonderful things I & we have done! I am so grateful for the wisdom & truth I have discovered thru Leslie! Thank you!

EG, Kerrville

“My previous experience with therapists made me believe that talk therapy just didn’t work and doctors prescribed pills with horrible side-effects that never worked anyway. I was at a low point where all I did was stay in my room all day and cry at the drop of a hat. I was very skeptical about neurofeedback and therapy but I so wanted to find help without taking pills that I decided this was worth a try. Having Leslie as a therapist combined with the neurofeedback was like a miracle for me. My depression is under control and I even have a job now. Leslie is the ONLY therapist who has ever helped me. She listens……it’s like she knows how you feel and really cares. She has a unique way of making you feel like you’ll be able to handle things and you’re not a whiner and a crybaby. I could go on and on……it’s hard to put into words, but Leslie has a gift in dealing with people that I’ve never experienced with any other therapist or doctor.”

MA, San Antonio

In therapy with Dr. Hayes, I have learned so much about my children in the fashion of “all behavior is communication.” I feel like I have a much greater grasp of how our family should work and how each one of us affects the others-the slightest change could disturb everyone. We have been working on sibling relationships, using our words, improving our verbal skills to get what we want and need, and maintaining a safe and stable environment. Dr. Hayes is down to earth, knowledgeable, direct, firm, yet lighthearted. If we’d not received therapy, I believe we’d live in utter chaos 24-7.

TJ, Hondo

I think the process with Dr. Hayes has been very good. She is supportive, especially when I have deeply disturbing things to open up about. She has led my thought processes in ways that encourage me to continue putting pieces together. When pieces go together, I find I have the clarity that allows me to forgive. With Dr. Hayes, I feel comfortable, trusting, relaxed, and more and more upbeat. I have been working to face my past to help me learn to forgive, which will allow me to move on with the rest of my life. I find Dr. Hayes to be professional, kind, encouraging, kind, warm, and accepting. The most noticeable change I have made has been linking past events that were previously just ill-fitting pieces of information. I no longer allow everyone in my life to take advantage of me. I wish I had done this before but then I would not have met Leslie. Her professionalism and personality have allowed me to talk about things I could never discuss before. {for others thinking about therapy}, I’d say it can give you a sense of peace, a new way to look at your past that you can use in your future.

PH, Castroville

When I first met Leslie, I was sixteen and the world was a very intimidating place. With her help, I learned how to believe in myself and handle everything life could throw at me. She always knew exactly what questions to ask to get to the heart of how I really felt, and was not satisfied with the general answers I usually used to keep up my walls. She was able to help me understand my own thinking and guide me to a much healthier mindset. I always felt accepted and without her encouragement and instruction, my road to recovery from abuse would have been harder and longer.

AH, San Antonio

I want to thank you for your counsel and your devotion to assist (my husband) and me in establishing a healthy marriage. It’s unfortunate that we were unsuccessful in working on the “WE”. The therapy sessions were the premise for skills needed within a marriage. In return, your counsel truly assisted me in my own spiritual growth and self-realization. I am better as an individual because of your faith-based guidance, and professionalism through clinical counsel. I now understand the key elements that must be present in a healthy marriage. I will never forget that Intimacy = Safety + Openness. Your counsel allowed me to realize that my safety was compromised so I could not trust, openly communicate, nor grow with my partner.

PD, San Antonio

My most noticeable change has been being able to handle conflict with my mom, and to communicate my feelings with my wife. We feel like family (with Dr. Hayes)! The focus of our goals is to (to find) the seeds of resentment in our family. Emotionally with Dr. Hayes I am feeling calm and trusting. (She is) very insightful with how people view me and my (past) actions. It has helped me take a calmer side to my…choices. I’ve made most progress in better knowledge of my actions toward others, and self-awareness.

CG, Hondo

I think the process has been extremely helpful. My overall experience with Dr. Hayes has been uncomfortable at times, but beneficial and transformative. The most noticeable change I have made is to just say “NO” and not feel the need to justify it. I’d tell others seeking therapy that it’s not easy and if it is, your therapist is worthless. Something that has surprised me about Dr. Hayes is the challenge she brings (based on previous therapy.)

TB, Hondo

I experience Dr. Hayes’ intervention style as a wise family member; we have changed the way we talk to each other–You are the best at your job! You know when to push and when to slow down. I have made great progress in my work and we are blessed by you. You have helped me grow and you are “on point.” I am feeling like I have a whole new outlook on the way I speak to people, but I feel great! We LOVE you. You are spot on when you react and when you don’t react.

JG, Hondo

I think therapy has been a great thing to help save our family to rebuild what we tore down. I am feeling better–I can see we still have a long way to go but I can also see some hope. Our focus has been figuring out why we are in the mess we are in and get the help from God we should have gotten all along. I think the biggest change has been the ability to say things and talk about things that (my wife) would not have listened to or actually done before. It feels good to be listened to and told I am right sometimes. I find talking to Dr. Hayes easy and comfortable.

DE, Von Ormy

I always felt like she was dedicated to helping me find “my way.” I think the process has been exactly what I have needed without being too overwhelming or moving too rapidly for me to comprehend what is being taught. I am feeling “ups and downs” in putting more ‘techniques’ in place for life’s challenges but occasionally feel discouraged in myself (not the therapist). I have been focused on how I developed the characteristics I have and how to work on changing them. My most noticeable change has been to think about WHY I am acting the way I am, and to stop. Dr. Hayes is easy to respond to and to understand.

DeS, Hondo

I think there has been great changes in our family and our relationship. I am feeling very encouraged and have seen a 180degree turn around in (my daughter) in her desire to talk and spend time with me. (My husband) and I are growing closer. Our focus has been to help (our daughter) to deal with her depression, but it has turned into addressing some of our issues and making our family a stronger unit. I experience Dr. Hayes as honest and straightforward, sometimes hard to hear, but always based in truth.I look forward to (my husband) coming home and don’t feel like we are constantly fighting and angry. Actually, you were an answer to prayer and have done so much for our family.

KE, Von Ormy

I think this process has been very helpful; it has brought out some things we needed to hear and what we were thinking all along. I am still feeling lonely but I know I will get better with time. My work is focused on helping me get my head on straight and help me realize I am not an adult figure yet. Dr. Hayes is point blank-take it or leave it. She doesn’t beat around the bush. I am now spending more time with my mom without getting annoyed.

ME, Von Ormy

I am finding the process very enlightening, worthwhile and necessary. My goals are to make my nice comfortable home …and my life less cluttered. I find Dr. Hayes to be very comforting and I am really trying to change.

HG, Hondo

Dr. Hayes has a very challenging style that at first was hard to understand. I thought therapy was supposed to be gentle and about feeling good. Sometimes, that’s just not possible if you want changes to happen. I have learned alot about myself and unrealistic expectations, and that lets me step back and reevaluate what I am really trying to accomplish. It may not be gentle and easy but it has been real helpful.

TLe, Hondo

Dr. Hayes has provided a safe environment for our family to examine our relationships. We have been able to establish goals to help us grow and heal. I am better equipped to meet the needs of our grandchild, myself, and my marriage.

MW, Devine

In my therapy, I think I have a better understanding of my reactions and how they affect others and myself. My marriage is at its strongest. I am focused on learning how my past impacts my actions and how to control my actions before they cause a blow up or affect my future. Dr. Hayes’ interaction is very in depth and emotional but satisfying and rewarding. I am not so quick to judge and think about what I say first. At first I was surprised and skeptical about if it would work on me, but I should have been more open-minded. This was God’s way of making me face myself and my past.

DE, Hondo

This has been very beneficial. I have gained much insight on the way my relationships helped make me who I am today. I am working on a better understanding of myself–I am who I am. Dr.Hayes’ style has been effective in helping me meet my goals. The most noticeable change has been my anxiety has decreased 99%! My areas are being addressed exceptionally well and I am most surprised by her sense of humor.

HW, San Antonio

I am feeling really good about myself and my husband–feeling closer. (Dr. H) is good at staying in the direction that is most needed. She’s a breath of fresh air and really understands and puts (my life) into perspective. My mind is not a roller coaster and if it is, I can stop it now. She is not biased or take sides between us. I am so blessed to have (her) for our counselor.

TP, San Antonio

This process has been beneficial in that the walls do not go up immediately between parties where there is disagreement. I am feeling myself able to think through the (problem) presented at the time. I am able to deal with these issues that (#) weeks ago, I would have answered “pissed” (as to how I am feeling) but patience prevails, Amen! I am developing the ability to listen better. We are working on being able to get along; I am glad we are being given tools to help us cope. I find Dr. Hayes engaging as we have made considerable progress so far. It is good to be able to visit and keep the peace.

KG, Hondo

The process felt important, focused, valuable, deep and powerful. At the end of my work I feel moved, heard and somewhat energized. My work has been enlightening, thought-evoking, and introspective. It gave me insight into how God is working and can work in my life.

KiRu, Hondo

I think therapy has been an invaluable and excellent learning experience; I am ready to rebuild my life and thrive. I’m feeling rejuvenated and setting my life back in motion. I am very optimistic, confident, and prepared to begin over. I am working to nurture personal boundaries in relation to family dynamics; let go of past issues and develop stress management strategies to thrive again! Dr. Hayes is a catalyst for change. She asks challenging questions and helps you see new ideas to cope with personal and family dynamics. I am practicing the “what I say must be the same as what I DO”, to be a true Christian. Therapy is a lot of hard work. My sessions are absolutely energizing. Dr. Hayes is a skilled mediator –we have a good rapport. She is caring but firm. My new self-confidence allows me to make choices that benefit ME rather than others. I think before I act and consciously be aware of those around me and react with love and honesty. If you are thinking about therapy, begin now, don’t wait.

PE, Devine

I am feeling therapy is increasingly helpful; I am frightened but a little relieved, as I am working to lessen my anxiety and self-doubt. Dr. Hayes has been fair and considerate in working with me, though I have made minor progress (so far). I’d suggest any adolescent participating in therapy to be ready to open up.

TS, Castroville

In therapy, I realized I have lost who I was and how to hold myself accountable for things I have done. Dr. Hayes is straightforward with her treatment and the way she interprets what you say.

SC, Hondo

To this point, we/I have been equipped with helpful tools to deal with our situation. We/I look forward to each session knowing that it brings helpful solutions to our situation.

GW, Devine

I not in “my cave” as much as I used to be. I am more aware and expectant of better days ahead. I’d tell people who are thinking about getting help to “humble yourself and seek help!” Dr. Hayes is boldly honest but kind. She has helped me understand how my life experiences have reappeared in my life now (patterns of behaviors in myself an others).

KCh, Sabinal

I have had several coworkers notice and comment upon changes in me: they say I am engaging more, asking more questions, and am more enthusiastic. I have more of a sense of relief, and though there is still a lot of pain, anguish, and anxiety, I am feeling more insightful about [my experiences/choices]. I am learning how to be a more Godly man, that he is the one I serve, and I must let go of the past, that I am forgiven. Dr. Hayes cuts to the chase–she brings the truth out. I am actually catching myself asking “does that please God?” before I do something. I am surprised [Dr. Hayes] has been patient with me, but I find she really cares about your well-being, and understands your emotions/feelings. I’d tell others that it’s important that God is the center of therapy–I have found it deeply transformative–there is already a clear change in me.

Kbrn, San Antonio

I find myself getting defensive sometimes by what [Dr. Hayes] says, but I also find a good deal of truth once I think, pray, and review it, I appreciate how forward and direct she always is. We started this process for [our daughter’s] depression, and after we began working on our core family system, keeping God at the center, and getting the tools to help us do the job God gave us as parents, I am feeling very thankful–the biggest change I have noted is that I feel loved by my family–we still have a long way to go, but this has been deeply meaningful to us all. Dr. Hayes has a way of “calling me out” without making me feel judged. She has been a God-sent blessing, in teaching us what it means to be a family, where we have failed to grow [spiritually] and why that happened. We have learned that our spiritual health impacts our marital health. Dr. Hayes has been kind, patient, compassionate, direct, confident AND able to smell “BS” a mile away! We could use less crying in our sessions (haha). OH, and she uses curse words sometimes…for therapy, of course :) .

dves, Von Ormy

Read and utilize this site at your own risk.

If you or someone you know needs mental health crisis management, please contact a professional medical or mental health provider as soon as possible. The owner/author of this site intends only to offer general information and all material is subject to change without notice.

Nothing posted on this site is intended as professional guidance or therapeutic advice of any kind. If you find the material helpful, that’s its intent, but please understand your use of the site should under NO CIRCUMSTANCE be considered a professional therapeutic (or personal) relationship between the user and the author of this site. Leslie LaRo Hayes, Ph.D., LMFT, assumes no responsibility for discomfort or other loss that may result from decisions made after utilizing any part of this website.