What's Counseling Like?
If you're like a lot of people, you'll find that counseling is a lot more comfortable and enjoyable than you imagined. Sometimes it's just the experience of talking to an intelligent listener, a supportive counselor.
Other times you'll find that we're working on specific issues that are challenging for you, and that the changes you're making in your life are hard.
Even then, you may find that counseling is a great relief to finally address what's getting in your way, what's holding you back from the life you want to lead, the relationships you want to have, or the career you dream about. Whatever we're doing in any particular counseling session, it can be a wonderful experience to be accepted, understood, and helped by another person.
What Should I Expect When I Schedule an Counseling Appointment?
When you schedule a counseling session for yourself for the first time, I’ll ask you if you’d like me to email you the forms you’ll need for our first appointment. You can then complete them and bring them with you so that we have the whole first counseling session to talk about your concerns.
I meet with individuals for an hour, and couples for 1.5 hours. The last few minutes of each session are spent wrapping up and planning homework (if any) and our next appointment.
Please know that if you have questions, concerns, or just want me to know something before our first counseling session (or between sessions), I would be delighted to talk with you by phone (free of charge) to be sure you have a chance to tell me what you think I need to know.
What Kind of Counseling Do You Do?
I have received extensive training and experience in systems therapy, which is commonly called family therapy. This does not mean that I do counseling solely with families, nor does it mean that I must do counseling with more than one person for counseling/therapy to be effective. It means that my counseling perspective is systemic: I focus on the many persons, circumstances, cultural influences, worldviews, and stressors that surround you and contribute to your problems—and your solutions.
We may talk one-on-one for the entirety of our counseling work together, you and your spouse or partner may want to work with me as a couple, or we may choose to invite key persons in your life to join you in one or more counseling sessions.
However we structure our counseling work, I will remain attentive to a "big picture" view of both the problems that trouble you and the solutions that may be helpful to you.
During my years at Group Health Cooperative (2004-2007), I also studied and practiced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which addresses the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that keep people stuck, or lead them to feel frightened, angry, upset, or sad. I integrate other theories and techniques as well, depending on a client's unique history, circumstances, personality, and concerns.
I am in the process of completing certification (by the end of 2014) as a Gottman Method® certified therapist for couples.