Why do Counseling Sessions?
Sometimes knowing a little bit about why you should choose professional counseling and what to expect in the session helps lift the anxiety about reaching out for help. I hope you find these FAQ’s helpful.
I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. Everyone needs help now and then. People who ask for help know that they need it and have the ability to reach out. You have some strengths that you’ve used before, those strengths aren’t working right now. Perhaps your problem feels overwhelming to you now. I have found, the information a counselor provides during the sessions helps many people find new resources, skills and new strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how best to implement them for change.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
That is a great question. As a professional, I will bring my training and experiences in working with other people into finding a solution for you. A mental health professional can: help you approach your situation in a new way, teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy sessions are completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing your business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, there is a risk that family and friends will begin to avoid you. It is hard to know that a loved one is hurting deeply and that they are looking to you for help.
Can’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed or helpful in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy sessions will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. Typically, being open about your struggles, listening carefully to yourself and seeing if that is true during the following week is helpful. Then when you do the follow up session, letting me know what you noticed changed for you or how you are understanding your situation in a different light is what will help you fill the session with greater understandings of your strengths and weaknesses.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them. The length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your time and financial commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
It is really wonderful that you ask this question as it shows you intent to do what needs to be done to change. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a 50 minute session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development. I pass out a sheet on the first visit that has many ideas for getting the most out of therapy. Some items are: reporting on what is working and helpful during the therapy session, recording on paper the homework that is assigned and completing it during the following week, letting me know how you are feeling about our relationship anytime during the session and not censoring your personal information and experiences as that will provide me a complete picture of how to help you.