WHAT TO EXPECT
WHY SEE A COUNSELOR?
If you have not been in therapy before, it can be hard to know what to expect, and what the therapeutic process will look like. In essence, the counseling relationship is a space to focus solely on your struggles, with someone trained to guide the conversation towards new perspectives, and help you try new ways of thinking or acting that can help you get unstuck. While the support of family and friends is invaluable, seeing a counselor is unique in that the confidentiality of what you say is legally protected, and you won’t need to worry about whether you are burdening the other person or how the things you say might affect your relationship.
THE THERAPY PROCESS
We will meet regularly (usually once per week for 55 minute sessions) to examine the issues you are struggling with. We will look at the assumptions and context behind these issues, and how they are affecting your health, relationships, and overall wellbeing. Once we have a good idea of how these issues manifest, we can begin exploring different ways of thinking about yourself and the world around you, and the behavioral changes that can help you live the life you want to be living, as the person you want to be.
Anxiety is a common issue my clients face. Sometimes our interpretations of a situation make it seem worse than it is, and our worries spiral out of control. By paying more attention to our thoughts and the meaning we make around things, it is possible to shift away from those negative expectations and worry less. We can also learn and practice specific skills to calm the body’s physiological reaction to anxiety and stress, so that you can more easily tolerate that discomfort and meet life’s challenges.
Depression is another common concern. When people feel overwhelmed by their sadness, hopeless about the future, and can see only the worst in themselves, it can be hard to find the motivation to make a change for the better. In therapy we can work together to build this hope and motivation, and to practice thinking about the world and our place in it in less negative ways. I often work with clients to plan approachable behavioral changes that will help them live a more satisfying life, and provide the encouragement and accountability to follow through on making these changes.