I’m sure you have many questions regarding coming to counseling, and I definitely understand. You may be thinking to yourself, why should I talk to a stranger, she doesn’t know me, how can she help me? You’re right, but I would like to hear your story. I know it’s hard to talk to a stranger, but let me try to put you at ease by answering some questions you may have.
I’m a very private person. Will you reveal what we talk about to others? Does what we discuss remain confidential?
Yes, but there are some limitations to confidentiality, and I will discuss what those are below. Confidentiality and trust are very important to me and to our counseling relationship. You, your story and what you’re going through is important to me, and my goal is to always keep everything you say to me confidential. I will provide you with a written copy of my confidential disclosure agreement, to ensure you that what we discuss in session will not be shared with anyone without your consent, this is also called an “Informed Consent”. However, you may want me to share information or provide an update to your Primary Care Physician, but by law I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
Limitations to Confidentiality: State law and professional ethics require that I maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection Service and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
I’m not familiar with what counselors do. What is your role as my counselor?
My role as your counselor is to assist you with finding solutions to your problems, identifying goals, empower you to accomplish your goals, to encourage growth and development, to help you identify your strengths and learn how to cope with issues that occur in your life. I believe you have the ability to resolve your own problems with my assistance, and we will explore behaviors, beliefs, and thoughts that may be hindering your growth, development and success.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from counseling if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of counseling is to help you feel better about yourself and life, to help you overcome any obstacles you face, to help you identify solutions to problems, to help you see your situation from a different perspective, and to help you bring about change in your life. As your counselor, I may suggest some things you can do outside of counseling to support your process – such as reading a book, journaling on specific topics, monitoring your behaviors, taking action on your goals, and completing homework related to increase your awareness and help you make changes. Those who seek counseling are ready to make positive changes in their life, ready to take responsibility for your life, and open to new ways of doing things and seeing situations.
I’ve never been to counseling before, so what is it like and how long do I have to come?
Everyone has different issues and goals for counseling, and your counseling experience is based on your individual needs. In counseling, you can expect to discuss current events happening in your life, personal information that is relevant to your issue, discuss your progress and any new insights you’ve gained from each session. Depending on your specific needs, counseling can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult or intense issue, or your desire for more personal growth and development. Scheduling weekly counseling sessions are important and usually last 45 minutes, or your sessions may be scheduled biweekly or monthly, depending on your situation. Your counseling sessions are weekly, and the number of sessions depend on your situation and your progress (this will be discussed during our first session).
I’m use to solving all my problems. Do I really need counseling?
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, counseling is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Counseling provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
I was told counseling is for crazy people. Help me understand why do people go to counseling and is coming to counseling right for me?
Just because you come to counseling, doesn’t mean you’re crazy. You just need some extra support and guidance for what you’re going through. People have many different motivations for coming to counseling. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and emotional hurt and pain. Counseling can help provide encouragement, motivation, and positive support. You will be provided with the necessary tools to help you get through and manage your issues. Counseling will also help you learn more about yourself or help you be more effective with your goals in life. In addition, people seeking counseling are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes.
I’m still don’t believe this is for me. How can I benefit from counseling?
Counseling sessions are very interactive and hands-on, and you receive strategies you can use immediately.
- Decreased feelings of depression
- Learn how relationship issues can lead to depression
- Learn healthy ways to manage and cope with negative emotions that are impacting your relationship
- Find resolution to the relationship issues, concerns, or problems
- Learn new ways to cope with the break up of a relationship, infidelity, and other relationship issues
- Develop skills for improving your relationship
- Improve your communication and listening skills in your relationship
- Change old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Improve your self-esteem and boost your self-confidence
- Learn about the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy relationship
- Learn about the causes unhealthy relationships and how attachment issues play a role
- Learn how being in an unhealthy relationship impacts your health
- You receive practical, hands-on, interactive strategies you can use immediately.
I’m nervous about the first visit. What should I expect?
During the initial intake session, we will get to know each other, discuss your concerns in detail, complete all required paperwork, discuss counseling services that best meet your specific needs, determine the number of sessions, discuss possible counseling goals and a plan to achieve your goals, and I will answer any questions or concerns you have regarding the counseling process.
If you wish to contact me, you may do so at 972-855-8947, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form below.