You are not alone. Committing to counseling is an investment in your emotional well-being. With that said, the choice can be overwhelming. Here are some FAQs and common reactions people have before beginning the counseling process.
WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY? OR, WHAT IF I OPEN UP TOO MUCH?...I AM AFRAID OF WHAT I MIGHT FIND.
Counseling is more than just having a conversation.
Counseling is not always comfortable. This is because change and resilience occurs outside of our comfort zone. We will address your fears together.
My role as your counselor will be to facilitate our conversations during the session in an intentional manner. We will process and explore difficult areas in a safe environment, in order to understand them and change your reactions to them. But, I will remain respectful of your limits and I would not intentionally press an area if it would cause you harm.
IT IS-WHAT IT IS. WHY DO I NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE PAST? IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE.
I often have clients who received or are currently receiving messages from their loved ones that they should "get over it" or "it's been a while, time to move on." Other might messages include, "it could always be worse" or "I got over it, so can you." I also have clients who grew up hearing: "never let them see you cry, "being vulnerable is a sign of weakness", "rub some dirt on it," or "pick yourself up from your boot straps."
While our loved ones may have good intentions, these statements can leave one feeling devalued, small, and misunderstood. Additionally, while these mantras may provide brief relief for some, it can also be very isolating to not feel heard, especially by those closest to you.
Understanding your past relationships and behavioral patterns can provide insight into your present issues and long term relief for a brighter future. This is why I may ask you questions about your past experiences, to understand how they impact your present.
I AM AFRAID OF OTHERS FINDING OUT I GO TO COUNSELING.
I will not disclose what we discuss in our sessions unless you or others are in danger or at risk of harm or unless you provide me with written permission. I will explain limits of confidentiality in more detail and answer any questions you have during our intake session.
Should any issues arise that need a second professional opinion, it is recommended as best practice by the American Counseling Association that counselors continue to seek supervision and consultation from other counselors in order to become more effective and provide ethical services. This does not mean that your identifying information will be shared; rather, the nature of the issue will be discussed.
WHY IS COUNSELING EXPENSIVE?
Similar to seeing a medical doctor, getting a massage, purchasing a fitness membership, or engaging in a sport---counseling is an investment (and exercise) for your well-being and emotional health. I am a qualified and trained professional who continues to seek education and supervision in order to best serve your needs. Investing in quality counseling services can have a long term, positive impact in many aspects of your life. In other words, the return can have internal and external benefits.