If this is your first experience with counseling, you may be interested in what will happen in the session. Even if you have been to counseling before, each therapist is different and you may have questions.
At the first session, we will take care of the annoying, but necessary paperwork that comes with all health care. I send these forms to you by email/or mail so that they can be completed beforehand thus saving precious minutes of your session time. Counseling is primarily a relationship between client and therapist. We will be getting to know each other and the goal of the session is to have you be comfortable and to share some basic background about yourself and the issues you would like to address.
It is important that you feel comfortable with me for the process to work. If at anytime you decide that I am not the right therapist for you, I will help you to find referrals. If you would ever have an issue with something that happens in a session, I ask that you bring it to my attention as soon as possible so that we can discuss and resolve it.
In the next few sessions we will continue to get to know one another. You will have the opportunity to start discussing in more detail the issues you would like to heal. We will explore how to bring back your authentic self and the connection to your spiritual center. I will be asking questions and reflecting back to you my summary of and insight on what you are sharing. We will start using techniques that you can use at home, such as breathwork, new thinking patterns, and self-exploration of your emotions and their background. The “homework” is very important part of the experience as it enables you to start to feel the joy of life right away. It is difficult and time consuming to expect that just coming to a session once a week will solve your issues and heal your hurts, just like going to the gym once a week won’t get us physically fit very fast.
As time moves on, you will set goals and we will design a plan for you to reach your goals. Expect these goals to change as you continue the process. You will continue to have personal insights about your specific situation. There will be more moments of joy than distress and your emotional and spiritual life will continue to grow to support you.
The Nature of Counseling
I believe clients have the ability to understand and implement change and are ultimately responsible for deciding the course of action they take in their transformation. Through an exploration of personal history to identify patterns of behaving, thinking, and feeling, clients learn more about themselves and the factors that affect the quality of life. Readings, structured experiences, and other homework may be used to augment the therapy experience. However, the basic requirements of a positive counseling experience are openness, honesty, and a commitment to change. The resulting benefits are an improved ability to identify problem areas, evaluate options, and take action in a healthy way.
There are risks as well as benefits related to therapy. The risks can include an increased awareness of negative feelings about current situations and a desire to make changes that significant others in your life may not appreciate. Our process will attend to these expected emotions and changes and move you through them to bring healing. A wise mentor in my graduate studies reminded me as I did my own personal growth work that the time I most needed to see my therapist was absolutely the same time I was sure I did not want to go!
I anticipate that counseling will help you to find Your Best Life. Because each therapeutic experience is unique, the process and outcome vary from individual to individual. Therefore you can feel free to discuss any concerns about the course of your treatment with me.
Physical Symptoms and Medication
Physical symptoms are often the result of emotional stress. Because I work from a holistic viewpoint, any physical distress you are experiencing is important to our work. Therapeutic techniques to reduce stress are effective however a physician must review your current physical health to ascertain the degree to which your symptoms have a physical basis. A medical examination is therefore required when a physical symptom is a primary concern. I will work with your caregiver(s) to coordinate treatment and will require consent to consult with your caregiver(s). Let me know if you have persistent physical concerns.
Depending on your symptoms and problems, medications may or may not be appropriate. As a holistic psychotherapist, I can assist you with techniques that can help you to control your symptoms. Sometimes medication can be helpful to this process. Taking medication is always your decision. My work with you will be the same whether or not you are on medications. If you decide that you would like to see if medication would be helpful for your psychological distress, I will assist you in obtaining a psychiatric evaluation.
Your responsibility is to inform me of any and all prescribed medications, over the counter remedies, and/or alternative therapies you are taking and to be compliant with the course of treatment as prescribed by your caregiver.