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The future depends onwhat you do in the present

Man Standing in a Field

Common Questions

Are there any risks--how do I know if this is right for me?

Most people who participate in behavioral or mental health treatment benefit from an overall healthier lifestyle.  Like most kinds of health care, this kind of treatment requires a very active effort on the individual's part.  In addition, there may be certain kinds of risks involved.  For example, the counseling process can be challenging and sometimes may involve experiencing highly uncomfortable feelings, or engaging in difficult interactions, or facing difficult aspects of your life.  I tell my clients, "this isn't like coming in for a relaxing back massage!"  Counseling is, at times, painful--it can hurt and be difficult ... but the pacing should also closely match what you are able to manage.  Ultimately, most people find the benefits far outweigh any such risks.  

Should I set up an appointment for my husband/wife/partner or should they do it for themselves?

That depends!  What are their thoughts on receiving treatment?  Will this be a 'couples' type arrangement or are you worried about your partner's depression/anxiety/mood and want them to get it looked at? The best way to answer this may be to say that it's important for individuals to participate in treatment willingly.  I find the more honest the approach, the better--state your concerns and fears and make the request of your partner and possibly even give them some options (names, telephone numbers, this website!) to try.  Your partner either will or won't take your concerns to heart and take action ... at which point you still need to take care of you and perhaps that means seeking counseling of your own to address this frustration and/or dynamic within your relationship.  Now, if we're talking about getting a minor in for counseling that's a separate issue and I've got lots of ways to encourage that process along based on mom or dad's specific concern or treatment objective.

I've tried counselors before and all they do is nod their head and say nice things to me--that's not what I want but I know I need help! What should I do?

Good for you to recognize the need for help!  (And I'm totally nodding my head while writing, thinking nice thoughts about you.)  Seriously, if you feel comfortable, ask around to friends or family and see if anyone has a good referral you can try meet with.  When people are unsure, I try to always offer a 20 minute 'meet and greet' appointment--free of charge--where you can check out my space, get a feel for who I am and how I work, ask some tough questions, put me to the test, and see if it may be a good fit!  I think other counselors/therapists offer this same type of arrangement if you ask.  And, hear me say this:  a good counselor will offer a referral if it's not a good fit!  At any point in working with clients and helping them, we must all remain cognizant of how the relationship is going, are we making change, is it possibly time for another approach?  Just because one counselor didn't work for you in the past, doesn't mean there's not another one out there that's not going to knock your socks off!

One of the questions I'm curious about knowing, is what client's have tried in the past that has worked and what hasn't worked!  What did they find helpful about their old counselor or what did they find super irritating?  (Once, when I was a very young adult seeking help, the therapist actually fell asleep during my appointment!)  It is most helpful for clients to be as transparent as possible with their counselor/therapist so that we are receiving the feedback you need in order to make this arrangement the most valuable use of your time and money!  I have clients who are crystal clear on what they need from me and I love it when I hear them say, "I need you to hold me accountable for ...!" or, "I need you to help me listen better and not get so angry when my partner disagrees with me--I just lose it!" or, "I need you to just listen and hold my thoughts and make sense out of them for me--I feel crazy and so alone."  You know what--I can do all that.  And, again, I love when people are willing to show their vulnerability with wherever they're at in the process of change. 

Do you have a question or concern not adequately answered from this page or website?  Send me a note and I'll ponder and respond as soon as possible ... and maybe even include it here for others to read!


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