You’re Invited

I am guessing that right now you may be contemplating counseling for yourself, your child, your family, or someone you really love and care about. Common feelings and reactions when people begin to reach this point of searching for help are feelings of being overwhelmed, frustrated over life’s circumstances, “burned out”, anxious, sad, afraid, or even hopeless (especially if the situation has been long in its duration). There may be something going on inside you, or it may be some event or circumstance in your world outside of you. Whatever it is, you probably have tried every solution you could think of — and still find nothing is working. Perhaps, you feel lost within yourself; or lost in your attempts to communicate in a relationship.

Situations come to virtually each of us at some point in life where events can throw our lives off balance from time to time. In some instances these situations may have been avoided, but many situations are simply inevitable and uncontrollable in our life journey. We don’t have to be diagnosed as “mentally ill” to be able to benefit from counseling in such instances. A once-cherished relationship may now seem unworkable, and we can find ourselves wondering how we ever came to this sad state of affairs. We may feel overwhelmed in our ability to parent.  Perhaps we may be facing the loss of a loved one or have a traumatic event (past or present) that overwhelms us. Other possible reasons may be that the pains of our past threaten to destroy our present life or our work or we feel too anxious to function.  We may even have come to a place where our job situation has become unbearably stressful or meaningless. Perhaps, something is going on in us, our family, or the world that we do not understand — that either makes us anxious or even scares us. These are but a few of the many circumstances which might cause us to seek the confidential support of a professional counselor to help us.

Counseling offers us an opportunity to find a way to work through our circumstances, to feel listened to and understood, to develop more self acceptance, and to get unstuck — in hopes of ultimately making our lives better. Counseling can also give us insight into ourselves and empower us to confront our problems, while working to find our own solutions. It can empower us to finally reach out to others and better communicate. We can also discover how to make life more workable and meaningful; while also changing our perspective on how we look at life.

I know the decision to seek counseling and choosing a counselor can be very difficult. Thank you for considering this practice and know that I already see you as courageous in being able to consider this choice.  I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Play Therapist, and Advanced Trainer in the Nurtured Heart Approach who truly believes in the transformative power of counseling. I believe that through a trusting and confidential relationship, powerful and lasting change can take place, and that you already have strengths and abilities within you that will help to make this change happen. I believe that people can learn ways that they may not have previously known to calm themselves, accept themselves, and despite any circumstance learn to look for their inner strengths to use to become their best version of who they are. I would be honored to sit with you, your child, family, or other family members in your situation to help you overcome whatever hurt you are experiencing. I invite you to take the first step toward your healing today.

Please feel free to call, without obligations, in order to receive answers to any questions. In order for you to achieve the best results through this process, it is highly important for you to feel comfortable with my style and approach before committing to this journey.

What to Expect

Whatever your reason for seeking help, you will be more at ease and get better results if you know what to expect.

In your first session, the therapist typically will ask certain questions about you and your life. This information helps them make an initial assessment of your situation. Questions you may be asked include:

  • Why you sought therapy. A particular issue probably led you to seek counseling. The therapist has to understand your surface problem(s) before he can get to the deeper issues.
  • Your personal history and current situation. The therapist will ask you a series of questions about your life. For example, because family situations play an important role in who you are, she’ll ask about your family history and your current family situation.
  • Your current symptoms. Other than knowing the reason you sought therapy, the therapist will attempt to find out if you’re suffering from other symptoms of your problem. For example, your problem might be causing difficulty at work.

The therapist will use this information to better understand your problem. And, while he may make a diagnosis at the end of your first visit, it’s more likely that a diagnosis will take a few more sessions.

Don’t just sit there

Therapy is a team effort. If you don’t take an active part in the session, you won’t find the counseling experience valuable. Here are some things you can do to make your first session as successful as possible.

Be open. Therapists are trained to ask the right questions, but they’re not mind readers. The therapist can do his job more effectively if you answer the questions openly and honestly.

Be prepared. Before you get to the session, know how to describe “what’s wrong,” and to describe your feelings about your problem. One way to prepare is to write down the reasons you’re seeking help. Make a list and then read it out loud. Hearing yourself say it a few times will help you describe things more clearly to the therapist.

Ask questions. The more you understand the counseling experience or how counseling works, the more comfortable you’ll be. Ask questions about the therapy process, and ask the therapist to repeat anything you don’t understand.

Be open and honest about your feelings. A lot will be going through your head in this first session. Listen to your own reactions and feelings, and share them with the therapist. You’ll both learn from these insights.

Be sure to go to your first session with realistic expectations. Therapy is not a quick fix for your problem, rather it is a process. With some effort on your part and a strong relationship with your therapist, it can be a successful tool toward resolving problems.