What counseling is, and what counseling with me will be like.
What is counseling?
At the heart of it counseling is just a special kind of conversation. You sit down with a counselor and talk about your problems and the things that are keeping you from living the kind of life you want. Then the counselor goes through those problems with you bit by bit. Sometimes we talk about what hurts you and why, what keeps you from making important changes and how you can overcome it, and what it actually means to accept the things you can't change. The goal is to help you feel better and live better. And for the most part the whole thing is confidential, so you don't need to worry about all those personal things you talk about getting out into the world.
How does counseling help?
Counseling helps in different ways depending on the problems and the people involved. Generally though counseling can help in these ways:
- Counseling gives you the space and the safety to talk about your problems in depth. Sometimes just getting it all out in the open can give some relief.
- Counseling can give you insight into what is actually wrong. The real problem might not be what you think it is, and counselors are trained to provide that kind of insight and to get you unstuck.
- Counseling can give you a game plan or method for feeling better. Even if you don't feel better right away it can really help knowing you have someone in your corner to strategize with, someone with experience.
What kind of counseling do you do?
I have a more conversational approach. That means that we will simply sit down and talk about the problems going on in your life right now. It won't be a clinical conversation where we talk about symptoms and diagnoses, but a more personal kind of conversation where we break down what your problems look like in your own words. My counseling is based on research-backed counseling methods though, even if I avoid using counseling jargon. If you're curious my counseling uses features of MBCT, ACT, DBT, and existential therapy. Our main goals will be to figure out what is actually wrong and why, to make the changes you need to make, and to learn what it actually means to accept what cannot be changed. With this flexible approach I can work with any number of personal problems including depression, anxiety, deep frustration, and tangled thoughts.
Some of my clients also need help figuring out some of their spiritual problems. I have a graduate degree in Christian ministry from Northeastern Seminary and experience helping people explore their spiritual issues. We might look at specific Christian beliefs or we might consider spirituality in general. After all, what we believe changes the way we understand our problems. Some clients prefer not to talk about these things though, and that's okay too. I just wanted to let you know this is an option in our work together if you are interested.
What do I need to know getting started?
- Paperwork: New clients have to fill out a paperwork packet when they are just starting out. I can mail you a copy of the packet or you can download and print it yourself.
- Timing: Typically I see my clients once a week, though I may see them more or less often depending on what they need. Sessions are always 60 minutes long. I have a waiting area next to my office if you arrive early.
- Finances: For many of my clients finances are an important concern. My session rates are some of the lowest in the state. Visit my fees page for all that financial information.
- Directions: My office is part of an office building that is not directly connected to a main road. Make sure to check out my directions page for direction right to the door of my office. Google maps can also get you most of the way there.