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What can I expect at my
If you've never been to counseling before, you may be a little nervous, cautious or apprehensive- this is totally normal. After all, you are meeting me for the first time and you may be feeling somewhat off-balance already from the issues you've been trying to manage on your own.
My goal is to understand you and the problems you are trying to cope with on a daily basis.
I gather some basic screening info on what, if any, depression and anxiety you are living with on a daily basis and how it is impacting your life. I will spend time asking you questions that will help you bring clarity to all the factors at work in your life and I will begin to offer possible strategies for helping you cope better and feel better. I am not here to judge you, change you or make you fit into a mold- but to listen with compassion, attentiveness and sincere interest in what is causing you to distress. Most importantly, you are the expert on your life - so I will use the counseling process to help you discover what's worked in the past for you and what new skills, resources, and information may further your self improvement and happiness.
How many counseling sessions should I
expect to attend?
Great question. Consider asking how many hours will it take to feel better? Counseling is measured in terms of hours (typically a 50 minute hour). Ask yourself how many hours it took to develop the problems you are currently trying to manage? Counseling is a powerful process but not magical and we humans all change on our own timetable. Therefore, the number of sessions you attend usually depends on the amount of time you've been coping with the issues, how frequently you experience distress from the issue, and how intensely the issue impacts your general well-being. However, with therapies like EMDR progress can be amazingly rapid.
Ideally, try coming in weekly for a few weeks in order to establish rapport and build momentum in understanding your problems and giving yourself a chance to talk through what you are going through and what solution strategies might fit your personal style and situation. Many clients begin weekly counseling until they feel they have some insight and tools to apply to their situation- then less frequently -scheduling for maintenance and perhaps newly arising difficulties. Other clients schedule weekly sessions as a form of ongoing support and maintenance as they work toward a sustainable wellness. The choice is yours- I may suggest a certain frequency based on your situation and symptoms, but you are ultimately in charge.
You will know after a few sessions what you feel is helpful in terms of how frequently you schedule.