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.
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. A tune up. This is considered shorter term counseling. I am happy to work on a short term basis when it’s appropriate.
Others benefit from longer 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.