What issues do people bring to counseling/therapy ? An outdated belief is that counseling or therapy is for "crazy" people. The reality is that many people seek help for problems of daily living such as difficulty with grief and loss, managing transitions and adapting to change, navigating challenging relationships, exploring meaning, purpose and direction in life, giving up ways of thinking and behaviors that no longer serve them, coping with stress personally and professionally, and so on. Struggles with depression, anxiety, and handling difficult emotions are also common issues that people bring to counseling.
What benefits might I experience? Often the benefits of counseling outweigh the risks. Many people experience awareness, clarity, and understanding of themselves, others in their lives, and the problems that brought them to counseling. Feeling heard and respected, having a place to tell your story and receive non judgmental responses. Making sense of life experiences and understanding how past experiences have shaped the present. Being challenged to find more constructive routes to solving problems. Discovering how to manage difficult feelings. Gaining self respect and self compassion. Learning and practicing skill sets related to assertiveness, stress management, communication, conflict resolution, problem solving, and cultivating healthy relationships. Healing from shame, depression, and anxiety.
Are there risks to counseling/therapy? Change always carries risk. You may come to realize that certain ways you conduct your life no longer work for you and you'd need to alter them to experience satisfaction. Looking at issues in your life can sometimes evoke feelings such as sadness, regret, anger, and disappointment. Pacing is an important task-meaning the therapist works with you at a pace that is challenging enough but not overwhelming.
How long will it take? Length of time in counseling depends on what your goals are, how motivated you are to explore issues and make changes, and how much you're willing to practice what you learn in therapy to your life outside sessions.
What happens in a therapy session? Initially, I like to get a "lay of the land" meaning a sense of what's going on in the major areas of your life, what works and what doesn't, what you'd like to be different, what you've tried before and what style works best for you in counseling. Further, as we explore and examine together, I help you sort out and clarify issues and find solutions. I don't make decisions for you or tell you what to do but help you to find answers that best fit you and help you access your "gut" or inner wisdom. You learn and practice skills that enhance the likelihood of deeper life satisfaction. If you're inclined to using adjuncts to traditional talk therapy, we may use guided imagery, mindfulness practice, drawing, or expressive arts.
What will be required of me as a client? Honesty, openness, a willingness to face difficult questions and issues, a commitment to your personal growth process, and consistency in attending sessions.
What if I have relationship struggles and don't know if I want to stay in the relationship? You don't have to know for sure if you want your relationship to continue to begin counseling. Initially sessions can assist you in weighing your options and examining the relationship to see where its strengths and weaknesses reside. An important focal point is also where you contribute to the problematic issues in the relationship.
If I'm having relationship problems, should I bring my spouse/partner? It's often beneficial to have your partner participate in therapy. In cases where your partner isn't willing to attend sessions, we can focus on how changing your perspectives, attitudes, and reactions can create a shift in how you experience the relationship.
How can I pay for therapy? Cash and checks are accepted for payment.