- How does counseling work?
There are three questions I am most interested in:
- What brings you to counseling at this point in time?
- What do you think may happen if things don’t change or you don’t get the support or help you need?
- What do you see getting better in your life as a result of a successful therapy experience?
My goal is for you to leave the initial counseling session feeling understood with a sense of hope and direction.
- Are you going to tell me (us) what to do?
We’ll talk about your situation. I want to hear your story. I’ll listen to your history and current challenges. We will collaborate together to help you reach your goals.
As a therapist who is committed to providing the best counseling and coaching I can offer, I still see you as the expert on your life. Any decisions or willingness to follow suggestions, that’s your call. I respect your ability to make choices.
I’m here to help you sort issues out and explore options so you can be in a better place moving forward.
- How often and how long will we meet for counseling?
Consistency brings the best results. Most counseling clients come weekly or biweekly . It’s best to schedule a set time each week. Committing to and prioritizing that time is ideal and equates to a better outcome.
Regular counseling sessions are about 45 -50 minutes. Longer sessions are available (see below), too. Counseling can be as short as a few sessions to address an issue, or an ongoing relationship to address ongoing or deeper problems.
Most of my counseling practice is face-to-face, however I do counsel on-line or via telephone when absolutely needed for special circumstances.
- What if my schedule is crazy?
Some people have responsibilities that require flexibility in scheduling their counseling sessions. Although it’s best to schedule a set time, I can sometimes accommodate such needs so long as we can find alternative times. We can do an occasional phone or on-line counseling session via a confidential free platform, if indicated, and appropriate to your needs.
Longer sessions are an option for those looking to get a jump start on the counseling process or if there’s a need for more intensive work for a period of time.
Extended sessions are helpful for busy clients with schedules or travel obligations that don’t allow for weekly counseling sessions to occur.
- What is the duration of therapy?
It depends. About half of my clients come for just a few months or for several months for support through a difficult time, to focus on a specific concern, or until they feel they are bouncing back or forward.
A few attend counseling for a handful of sessions and feel they have benefitted enough to complete or pause the therapy process. This is considered short term counseling. I am happy to work on a short term basis when it’s appropriate.
Others benefit from long term counseling. They may have long standing issues, childhood experiences that are interfering with their lives, or on-going stressors or changes in their career, relationships, health, recovery, or families. These issues often require a longer period of support, usually for about a year or so.
Some clients or couples may attend counseling for a couple of years as they continue to benefit from on-going or intermittent counseling.
Others use therapy for a period of time, take a break, and return when they are ready, something comes up, they need to do more work or for a few booster sessions.
So as you see, there are lots of options and flexibility depending on what works best for you. While I love to see people commit to the process, I trust clients to make their decisions about length of time in counseling, hopefully with my input.