Licensed marriage family therapists provide individual counseling as well as couples counseling and family counseling. Often new clients wonder what individual counseling is like. Sometimes clients will come in with a prior counseling experience. I will explore with new clients if their experiences were positive or negative. I will assess and evaluate what created either a positive or negative experience in counseling so that I can most effectively work with a client to create a positive experience. It is my goal to work with clients in a style that works best for them.
I have had counseling before and I didn’t like it…
If a new client has had counseling before from another practitioner, we can explore what techniques were more or less effective together. Sometimes it might be the level of comfort a client feels in their individual counseling session that will allow for a therapeutic alliance between client and counselor. So, if you have had counseling before and you did not have a positive experience, I would encourage you to consider going with a different therapist. I often hear clients giving up in their search to find a therapist that works for them. Just because one had a neutral or negative experience with one therapist does not mean that they will have the same experience with a different therapist. I have been working with people for 20 years and most, if not all, of my clients have felt very supported, nurtured, and comfortable during our sessions together. It is my first priority to create a safe therapeutic environment for all of my clients, and take special care to provide an experience that does not repeat past failed sessions.
It can take a little time to get comfortable.
Finding a therapist to do individual counseling can take some time. It is my job to make sure that all of my clients feel like they are getting everything they want out of their individual counseling time. I will check in with clients throughout the session and throughout our time together for feedback on what their experience is like and what they find to be most helpful. I invite clients to provide feedback when things are not working for them. I also invite clients during individual counseling sessions to discuss their treatment plan. Often when clients come in they have some initial goals they would like to work on. When my clients are feeling comfortable in sessions they tend to want to work on different goals after the initial goals have been met.
Different people have different goals in wanting to come in for counseling. Sometimes people are facing a crisis, sometimes people are experiencing loss, and sometimes people are experiencing depression and anxiety. I have been able to successfully help people reach all of their goals in these categories.
Typically by the second session with a therapist, one should have a sense if they think they will feel comfortable moving forward working with the therapist on their short-term or long-term goals. It is also important to look at your comfort level with a therapist in making sure that any uncomfortable feelings are not coming from the lack of a good connection with your therapist. Obviously there might be some uncomfortable feelings in the topics in which one will explore in counseling, however, it’s important to note to yourself if the therapist is helping you feel more at ease or less at ease. It is my job to provide a relaxing, safe environment in which clients can explore all the feelings that they have about all subjects. If this environment is not created, then a therapeutic alliance will not exist, resulting in a client’s inability to express themselves freely and be able to process emotions and gain insight to make changes.
Here are some further tips on picking a therapist that you might find useful.
If you are looking for a new therapist to provide you counseling and are unsure if we would be a good match, please give me a call to set up a free consultation by phone, or request a session time.