Awareness is spreading about the pervasive, damaging effects of untreated mental illness, but so is the knowledge that treatments are available to minimize and eliminate the ongoing damage. Our trained professionals provide clients with a variety of mental health counseling services in a safe, caring and confidential setting. We see clients for personal problems or issues of behavioral, emotional, marital, rehabilitative, educational, vocational or life-stage nature. Clients who seek help open themselves to the possibility of reaping the many benefits counseling can provide with individualized treatment plans that help clients gain skills and learn behaviors that put them on a path to mental wellness.
Individual counseling is a personal opportunity to receive support and experience growth. There are many challenges that could use a little guidance: school difficulties, work changes, substance abuse, anger, depression.... the list is endless. We allow individuals to explore their feelings, beliefs, and behaviors, work through challenging or influential memories, better understand themselves and other, identify aspects of their lives they would like to change, set personal goals, and work toward desired change.
What to expect-
Everybody's experience is a little bit different, but there are some standard things you can expect.
Your first visit is meant for you and the counselor to get to know each other better. This session helps the clinician get a better idea of how to proceed as well as learn the best way to structure and approach future sessions. You are likely to be asked a variety of personal questions in order to get a more well-rounded perspective. These might range from casual and easy to answer to more personal with lengthy responses. This visit is also likely when together you will discuss the ideal or imagined length of treatment, the different methods recommended for your individual situation, as well as your personal treatment preferences and expectations of your time together. This is also an opportunity for you to interview your clinician to see if the relationship is going to work for you.
Since your first sessions is more foundational, you can most likely expect this visit to be casual and comfortable! If you don't feel comfortable, try someone else- we promise it will not hurt our feelings! Having a good is critical for effective treatment!
And just like that, you made the first step!
Going forward the two of you will form an alliance, relationship or bond that will enable trust and personal growth. You will likely meet with your clinician weekly or every other week with sessions typically lasting between 45 and 60 minutes. The frequency and duration will depend largely on your individual needs, treatment goals, and progress.
You will be encouraged to talk about your thoughts and feeling and what is troubling you. But if you find it hard to do this, your clinician will help you gain more confidence and comfort as time goes on.
Some sessions may leave you feeling physically exhausted or you may find yourself crying or have an angry outburst. We understand and will help you cope with these feelings and emotions.
You may be asked to do specific activities away from your session or practice what you have learned. Over time, you will find that doing these activities can improve your mood and change the way you think and feel about yourself.
Many client concerns are readily resolved with short-term therapy while other chronic or more complex concerns may require a long-term commitment. The exact direction of your personal counseling experience will depend on the issues you bring into counseling, your clinician's perspective, and the goals you set for your work together. Therapy may not cure your condition or make an unpleasant situation go away, but it will give you the power to cope in a healthy way and feel better about yourself and your life going forward!
Overall, spending some time working on you should be beneficial, but it will require an open and comfortable relationship with commitment. If it any point you don't feel you are benefiting from sessions, please talk with your clinician. Together you may decide to make some changes, try a different approach or end the relationship.