Counseling Process – How It Works

I often work with people who have never seen a therapist and have all sorts of thoughts about what it will be like. We’ve all seen movies and know the stereotypes about therapists: you lay on a couch and I sit behind you, taking notes, and saying very little (if anything.)

Once you’re in my office you’ll notice that I have a couch, but you probably won’t lie on it, and I’ll definitely not sit behind you. I typically don’t take notes while we’re talking, and if I do I’ll tell you what I’m writing. Although my job is based on listening, I’ve learned that people typically want to know what I think and how I’m reacting to what they’re saying. So counseling ends up being more of a conversation than me sitting silently while you talk.

At the beginning of counseling, people sometimes don’t know what to say or where to start, and this can make them nervous. When this happens, I reassure people that it’s normal to feel this way, and then I typically ask some questions to help them get started. Most people end up feeling pretty comfortable pretty quickly.

Once this happens, people generally are willing to examine the parts of their lives that aren’t going well and work on making things better. This involves a lot of hard work and often comes with uncomfortable feelings. Some people feel worse before things get better. However, I’ve found that when people make the commitment to working on what we discuss, they notice positive changes in their lives.

Read answers to many common questions about counseling …

Practice Specialties Include

Depression • Parenting • Anxiety • Personal Growth • Relationship Issues
Adolescents • Academic Concerns • Young Adults • Communication Difficulties Grief/Loss • Life Transitions Men’s Issues • Women’s Issues • Self-esteem • Stress Management • Siblings of Special Needs Children • Left Handers • Infertility Issues