The role I find myself in most often in my work is a facilitator. Many, if not most, of the people I work with come to me already pretty clear on the things troubling them. Rarely do I have people come in who don’t know what’s wrong. Mostly they have done as much work as they can on their own, and have reached a place where outside help is required to get past whatever is in the way, whether individually or as a couple. So most often, I serve as a sounding board, a reflective surface, a challenging voice, and a safe place to do the rest of the work.
I started out doing medical-based therapy like most providers do, but I quickly found when I started my own practice that the people who are most attracted to my style of “therapy” usually don’t have chronic mental health issues. They are almost always regular people who are just stuck somewhere and need an extra set of eyes on their life or need help creating a plan to move forward.
My particular brand of therapy can also help you sort through the questions so many of us ask ourselves: Who am I? What am I doing here? Am I doing it right? Am I in the right relationship? How can I be happier? How can I serve the people in my life better? What do I want to be when I grow up? How can I get past _______ in order to feel better? How can I live more authentically?
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In my opinion, therapy works best for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they are struggling. It takes a lot of courage (especially for men or anyone who is very prideful) to say “I need some help with this.” Personally, I admire anyone who can do this. It’s hard. I don’t take it lightly when people trust me to do with this work with them.
You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy/coaching. The therapeutic relationship provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. I think anyone and everyone can benefit from therapy.
Contrary to what you might think, counseling isn’t just about depression or anxiety or any other mental health diagnosis. Especially given the model I am using, which is free of Managed Care influence, counseling is only about making you feel better. It is about finding fresh solutions to the old patterns of dysfunction in your life. Counseling (or coaching, or therapy, or whatever you want to call it) is whatever you want it to be. The fact is, it makes people feel better and live happier, more productive lives. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or broken. It is good for you.
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Everyone’s situation differs, so there are no rules about how often you “have” to come to counseling. The general rule of thumb is that weekly sessions are most beneficial when starting out. If you really can’t afford that or truly don’t have the time, it’s okay; we will do whatever works best for you. I have a lot of clients who use me to help with acute problem-solving or to think through a specific issue. They may see me a few times, and then graduate, and then maybe just come in as needed. Regardless of your situation, I don’t believe in keeping people in counseling longer than they need to be there. Also, please remember that YOU are in charge of your therapy and you can decide what you need.
Yes. Completely confidential. I will provide you with a form called “Informed Consent” outlining the particulars of counseling with me, but the general rule of thumb is that I will not share your information with anyone under any circumstances.
The only exception is that state law and professional ethics require therapists to violate confidentiality for the following situations:
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times