According to The American Psychological Association definition adopted from John C. Norcross, "Psychotherapy is the informed and intentional application of clinical methods and interpersonal stances derived from established psychological principles for the purpose of assisting people to modify their behaviors, cognition's, emotions, and/or other personal characteristics in directions that the participants deem desirable".
For those who may not have studied psychology, this definition might seem a little confusing or even a bit daunting. In essence, as a counselor, I utilize evidence-based treatment methods and our therapeutic relationship to assist you to adapt and change unhealthy behaviors, thoughts, and feelings to help you to achieve your desired outcome. Counseling is a collaborative treatment between the counselor and the individual, you.
As a counselor, I work to provide a warm, safe, and supportive environment which will allow you to speak openly, free from judgment. Counseling is a very personal process, and every individual will experience this process differently. Although this is a collaborative relationship, you will be the one to determine the focus, methods, frequency, and duration of the therapeutic process. I may offer choices and suggestions, but you will be the one to decide what is best for you.
Individuals seek counseling for a variety of reasons. Whether it be a something easily identifiable (such as depression, the death of a loved one, or relationship issue) to something more difficult to name (such as unwanted emotions or feelings). Typically we seek change when we are in distress and when this distress has impacted our life and relationships. In addition, we tend to seek out counseling to address mental health issues, for additional support, learn new ways to cope and communicate effectively with ourselves and others. Others might be seeking counseling to gain a deeper understanding of self, asking “Who am I? What do I want? Why do I do what I do? Why do I feel how I feel?” The desire for self-exploration and personal growth is equally important.
Ultimately we are all seeking an improvement in our quality of life and our relationships. We are seeking understanding, support, connection, growth and change. You might be contemplating attending counseling for one of these reasons or maybe something very different. Whether you are aware of what the issues are, ultimately you may feel something inside of you pulling you towards the counseling process.
As with any form of treatment, there are possible risks and benefits. As you begin to consider if counseling is right for you, I would ask you to make a fully informed decision by reading the following information so you can make the right choice for you.
While there is no guarantee of a particular outcome, there are numerous benefits which can result from short-term and long-term therapy. These benefits will vary depending on the individual client, your presenting problem, your goals, the frequency and duration of treatment you choose, and the degree to which you follow through with treatment between sessions. The following is list consists of some of the potential benefits of being an active participant in the therapeutic process.
Possible Benefits of Counseling:
While there is no guarantee of a particular outcome, there are many benefits that can result from short-term and long-term therapy. These benefits will vary depending on the individual client, your presenting problem, your goals, the frequency and duration of treatment you choose, and the degree to which you follow through with treatment between sessions. The following list consists of some potential benefits of being an active participant in the therapeutic process.
• Establishing a safe, nonjudgmental environment for you to explore better understand yourself, others, and the world. • Developing a healthy therapeutic relationship with a skilled and experienced professional who can provide an unbiased sounding board. • Identifying and clarifying your goals as well as the steps you can take to achieve them. • Learning new strategies, techniques, and coping mechanisms to achieve your goals and manage stressful situations. • Increase your understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; which can assist you in modifying them if they no longer, benefit you. • Gaining greater insight, understanding, acceptance, empathy, and appreciation of oneself and others. •Increased ability to recognize and communicate your thoughts, feelings and needs to others. • Improved ability to decrease and stop intrusive thoughts and behaviors that do not sever your best interest. • Create and practice new healthy behaviors that assist you in achieving your goals. • Improved mood • Improved relationships with others • Increased appreciation and empathy for others • Increase intimacy with others • Increased feelings of connection •Increased ability to manage, and regular intense emotions • Increased motivation • Increase self-esteem and self-confidence • Increase ability to identify realistic goals and achieve them • Increased emotional intelligence • Increased ability to control oneself and ones urges • Develop new skills and abilities • Improved understanding of others and why they act as they do. • Making amends for past negative actions.
· In the beginning, it is not unusual for some individuals to experience an increase in unwanted thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This is often temporary and decreases as therapy progresses. It is important for you to inform me so we may work collaboratively to address this in a healthy manner.
· There is no guarantee improvement will be made or you will achieve your goal. Therefore, if progress is not being made, you or I may choose to change methods of treatment, discontinue treatment and be referred to another therapist, specialist, or program.
· Other people in your life may not support your decision seek to treatment and engage in therapy. If this is a concern you may have, please inform me so we may discuss how and to whom you wish to disclose you are in therapy.