How do I know that I need counseling or therapy?
Many individuals access counseling because of specific problem areas in their lives, such as depression, anxiety, or addictions. Counseling is helpful when you are going through a stressful or
traumatic time, and you do not feel comfortable talking to family or friends
about the situation. Counseling is also a source of information, support, and
resources. Often grief or previous trauma motivates a desire for counseling
Does it mean that something is wrong with me if
I need counseling or therapy?
No. We all go through difficult times and need to ask for help
with problem-solving and decision-making. We also need support and the
comfort available in a safe, protective relationship. Often, we need to
learn additional skills or to process through events in our lives so that we
What are the benefits of counseling?
Potential benefits of counseling and therapy include significant
reduction in feelings of distress, improvement in problem-solving and coping
skills, and resolution of certain problems. Other benefits include the relief
experienced when talking about your problems, rather than holding them inside; your
increase in self-awareness and knowledge of yourself and others, resulting
in improvement in relationships; and skills development, so that you are better
able to manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
What are the risks of counseling and therapy?
Risks actually include the experience of uncomfortable feelings
(such as sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness) and the
recall of painful experiences in your life. In order to heal, however, we have
to process through grief and painful feelings. Avoidance and denial only
result in a prolonging of negative feelings and less effectiveness in
Online, phone, or email counseling offers certain limitations,
compared to in-person communication. Among these are the lack of
"personal" face-to-face interactions, the lack of visual and audio
cues in the counseling process, and the fact that not all insurance companies
will cover this type of counseling.
What can you expect from the first counseling or therapy session?
The first session is the time to get to know each other. You can
ask questions about my training, experience, and expertise in the area for
which you are seeking counseling. You will provide me with history regarding
the reason you are seeking counseling. After that, you decide what you are
willing to talk about. A counselor sometimes acts as a teacher, a guide,
or a coach. Many processes occur in a therapy session. The most important
ingredient, though, is that you have a trusting relationship with your
counselor or therapist, and that you feel safe to talk about what you need to
How long will it take to schedule a counseling
I will usually be able to schedule an appointment within one to
two weeks. I will do my best to accommodate your schedule. If you are in
immediate crisis, I will schedule you on an urgent basis, which may require
either early morning or evening sessions.
Will you keep records of our sessions?
Both law and the standards of the counseling profession require
that I maintain client records.