I’ve never been in counseling before. How does it work?
A counselor 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. Because each individual, family, and relationship has different struggles and goals for counseling, the approach to each one will be unique.
Is what I share in session private?
Absolutely! With one caveat for your safety. All mental health professionals are mandated reporters. This means that if we have a concern about safety, i.e. threat of self harm, harm to others, or threat of harm by another, we are obligated to report the concern to the proper authorities. While this is a rare occurrence, I will always discuss any concern I have with you and together we will determine the best course of action.
In family and couples sessions privacy is a bit more complex because there are more people involved. It is important that everyone participating in sessions commit to privacy and agree not to share information from sessions unless everyone agrees it’s ok to do so.
Why shouldn’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 in conjunction with therapy.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your 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?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
Committing to a consistent session schedule, sharing openly each session, and continuing to work on self-reflection between sessions also help tremendously with progress. Also, don’t hesitate to share any concerns about progress and treatment goals with me. Remember, I am here for you and want to make any changes needed to meet your needs.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.