What will we do with our time together?
A key component of the therapy we will enter into together is the relationship between therapist and client, between you and me. It is important for you to have a safe place to explore feelings and concerns, to receive feedback and support, to examine our habitual methods of interacting with the world, ourselves and others. I invite you to be an active participant in helping me to understand you and your concerns, as well as letting me know if there is anything occurring in the session that causes you distress. This information will assist us both in creating a safe and helpful environment and inform the work that we do.
I utilize a person-centered approach, which means that our sessions will start with you and your needs. Together, we will explore the issues that you bring to counseling in a holistic way, with emphasis on emotional and personal history perspectives, as well as how those perspectives are affecting you in the present moment (right here-right now). I will do my best to model kind, positive, boundaried, here-and-now interpersonal interactions, and to stay as much out of the way as ethically possible, encouraging and allowing you to discover the abilities within you to do the work. This component of our work together is directed at providing you with the tools and insights that will help you with your concerns and goals. Again, this will involve your active participation in sharing your “story”, exploring feelings and sometimes doing projects outside of sessions such as reading, journaling, drawing/painting, information gathering or making changes (homework, if you will). Very often, what you want will become clearer to you as you are able to talk about your feelings in a place of acceptance. This opportunity to explore and examine your experiences can lead to a clarity that enhances your insight and ability to make healthy and necessary changes in your life. In this way, you learn to access, trust and use your own internal resources for well-being and health. You also learn to identify and reach for helpful resources and persons outside yourself.
As with any intervention however, there are also risks associated with therapy. First of all, therapy is not an instant or even guaranteed cure. Secondly, risks can include experiencing uncomfortable levels of feelings like sadness, anger and anxiety. Some changes can lead to what seem to be worsening circumstances or even losses. For example, counseling will not necessarily keep a marriage intact. However, therapy can also be surprisingly easy and full of joy at times; the risks and challenges of therapy often leading to benefits. I will be working to support you through the challenges of change and look forward to helping you move toward the benefits and goals you seek in counseling. I appreciate your courage in considering therapy and taking a step in a new direction.