Q: What is counseling?
A: I believe that counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor and client. My role is to help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional distress; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health.
Q: How does counseling help?
A: I provide a safe place where clients are able to talk about any and all of the problems going on in their lives and in their minds. I’ve been trained to listen in an objective manner and offer insight, clarification, and feedback. Therapy is not always comfortable as emotions run high during difficult times, however, many clients feel that the temporary pain is well worth it as they begin to make positive changes and leave old patterns behind.
Q: What can I expect?
A: During the first session, you and I will work together to clarify the concerns that brought you into counseling and also discuss background and personal history. You can share on a level that feels comfortable for you. If you haven’t already completed the forms from the website, you can expect to fill those out during the first session as well.
We will work together to set treatment goals and review those goals along the way. These goals can range from things such as, feeling happier, gaining confidence, improving relationships, coping with a loss, etc. Clients usually do most of the talking, because only the client knows where the pain and resistance lie. You are ultimately the one who will do the work to resolve the issue.
Q: How often should I come to counseling?
A: Often in the beginning, clients will have weekly or bi-weekly sessions. As time passes and you progress toward your goals, you may feel that coming less often is sufficient. When goals have been reached, many clients like to come occasionally as the need arises or until new patterns are firmly established in their life. Feel free to discuss the frequency of your visits at any time.
Q: How long will I need to be in counseling?
A: The answer to this question varies from person to person. Ideally, counseling is terminated when the problem that you pursued counseling for becomes more manageable or is resolved. Some issues can be resolved in just a few months, however, other issues may be more complex and it may take years before you feel like things are manageable. You are in control of your counseling process, so ultimately you get to decide when you feel that you’ve accomplished the goals that you have set for yourself.