What is counseling like?
Counseling offers a place for people to share their concerns and be heard. The main thing you can expect from counseling is to be listened to, without judgment. We will talk. I will do a lot of listening and sometimes I’ll give feedback. In my practice I sometimes offer creative interventions such as sand tray, work with images and objects, drawing, somatic (body) exercises, breath work, writing prompts, contracts/spells or contract/spell breaking, and meditation. Of course, all of this depends on your interest as a client. Nothing is required and the counseling practice tends to evolve naturally over time.
What will we talk about?
Whatever is important to you is important to me and to the counseling process. There are no correct or incorrect topics. We can talk about your present experience, the past, or your goals for the future. We might refine your values and beliefs. We might feel deep emotions. We might problem solve. We might feel how it used to be and how it is now. We might acknowledge growth. We might practice relating.
How long will I be in counseling?
The length of the therapeutic relationship, like all relationships, varies. You can choose to stay in counseling as long as it is useful to you and to end it when it feels like time. The process of beginning and then ending a counseling relationship is one that many clients find very meaningful.
Do I need to prepare? Have certain problems?
Nope! You get to come to counseling as you are. You do not need to be a certain kind of person or have a particular history or any specific kind of problem to benefit from counseling. Any person can decide to seek counseling, and all people are worthy and deserving of help.
How does counseling help?
Counseling is helpful in so many ways! In my experience as both client and practitioner, I've found that counseling can help you:
ease your mind, allow you to breathe easier
feel cared for and listened to
release self-judgment and self-shaming tendencies
feel compassion for your past, present, and future selves
learn new ways of approaching stressful situations
begin to feel emotions as they happen
tune in to and release emotions from the past (and the stories they come with)
discover ways to advocate for yourself and your experience
set intentions for how you’d like to relate to others
begin to see clearly the strategies you've been using to survive your life
choose to be fully and even joyfully accountable for that life
Is it hard?
Sometimes. Counseling can feel like moving your body or any other habit. Often, the idea of it is difficult, but once you get there you’re really glad. And, like exercise, you practice getting stronger! You become more resilient. You know yourself a little better. You grow more accepting of your current limitations. You begin to feel a deeper tolerance for yourself and the rest of the world.
Will I change?
Yes. But you will be so busy experiencing that change that it may not be immediately apparent. Over time, most people who engage in counseling report that they changed in a multitude of ways. This change comes from taking responsibility for one's life, being willing to face the past, and allowing a healing and compassionate relationship with a counselor to assist with the process.