What to Expect
Therapy or coaching can be overwhelming. It’s probably one of the first times that you’re speaking your deepest parts of you out-loud, and with a stranger no less!
You’re willing to do whatever it takes at this point to feel better, but it’s still scary nonetheless. You may have had a bad therapist or experience in the past, or you may just be feeling so raw from your life circumstances that this “therapy thing” better work, because you’re out of other options!
What to Expect in a Counseling Session
In our first session, we will talk about what is bringing you into counseling. We may talk about your history, but often we spend time talking about your most important current needs. This makes the most sense, as this is what is causing you current emotional difficulty and has pushed you “in the door” so to speak.
I could spend time right now telling you all of the ways that I’m trained, licensed and credentialed. And those things DO matter, but that’s not what brought you to this webpage. What made you find your way here is pain. We’re here to talk about you and get you in a better place.
You deserve to have peace. To have joy, to have a life that you love, that you feel like you belong in every day instead of feeling like you’re lost or floating.
And most especially you deserve a therapist that is connected to you and your life struggles and who genuinely cares about walking beside you through all of that pain.
You deserve someone who will hold space for you to heal, who will not judge anything you say, and in fact will help you stop judging yourself. You need space to heal, to cry openly and to even laugh as we heal.
The approach that I use in my therapy helps people to uncover the relationships between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in their everyday experiences. This awareness helps people create a better sense of themselves, which leads to healing relationships, decreased uncertainty, and increased confidence.
I believe strongly in meditation, mindfulness, increasing emotional intelligence, facing our emotions with grace and dignity and finding a new way through.
I firmly believe that we can’t move forward with clarity until we know exactly where we stand right now. If you’d like a more specific list of counseling theories and approaches I use in my work with clients, here is more in depth discussion on my FAQ page.
You can also expect:
…. to help direct and guide your own sessions
We’ve all probably walked out of a conversation and thought “we didn’t talk about a single thing I wanted to discuss!”. While we have training and some expertise, you are still usually the expert on your own life. We just have to help you re-set your course.
I know you’re here to talk about your life, the nitty gritty stuff . Counseling is are for you, not me, and if we can all remember that, we can help you make your sessions what you are hoping to achieve and not hijacked by what a therapist or coach who thinks they know what you should be doing.
…to be challenged
Most people seek out coaching or counseling because they are stuck. However, I am of a pretty firm belief that the majority of people who are seeking help often operate and function in other parts of their life. I will challenge you to do the things we know you can do, even when you don’t believe in yourself yet. I will believe in you until you are ready to trust your own abilities!
…to resolve blame and shame
Shame and guilt are often cornerstones of what hinders us, especially in trauma or loss. I have done my own work when it comes to letting go of self-blame and guilt and I know how crucial it is to recovery.
For those of us in any kind of grief recovery or “feeling stuck”, we know all too well resentment towards ourselves and others is a huge stumbling block. While we must still hold those around us accountable for their actions, we can do this while letting go of anger, resentment and blame.
Those emotions end up hurting only us in the long run.
…to get a “real” person
Nobody is free from error and we certainly are fallible! But I am absolutely real. I am the same across the board. You’ll get the same version of me whether you see me in session or if you run into me in Walmart (be warned, I could be in sweat pants!).
I even have tattoo’s! They are memorable and personal, visible reminders of my journey so far, including triumphs and losses. It’s my goal to remain authentic. I help you walk through life issues with enthusiasm, creativity, honesty, common sense and a sense of humor.
If humor is a turnoff for you in therapy sessions, we probably aren’t the right fit! I spent the first 5 years of therapy practice reminding myself to “keep my feet on the floor” as I was often reminded by a professor when in training. But my authentic self is to cross my legs in my chair.
So I choose now to be true to myself… which means you’ll see a person who might have her legs in her chair! Feel free to follow along and, sit down, take a load off and put your feet up.
…to help people set a new course as they navigate the wild experience of life.
Sometimes that includes an entire 180 degree turn from the direction you are traveling now. Or you may just barely be off course and need a little direction to get back to where we would like to be, or maybe even a better version of where you were headed.
What is expected of you
Therapy is a team effort, and while I or any other counselor will have training that assists the process, you are still an expert on yourself!
I know it can be overwhelming to talk about hard topics, but I’m only asking about them to help solve those issues. Some short term emotional struggle will pay off in the long run.
I don’t mean that you must tell the truth about all of your secrets (although it’s helpful to be honest in all matters!) but I mainly mean be honest with what you’re feeling and thinking, your reactions and insights. The more open you are with acknowledging those, the farther we will go!
This whole process is all for you, so don’t stress what I or anyone else thinks about how you’re doing, how fast you’re improving or what you are feeling. We are all human, and nobody progresses perfectly on a straight line with no setbacks or struggles.
…be ready to work outside of session
We will probably talk about a bunch of information in that one hour, but it’s still one hour of your week. The more you can work and apply these skills outside of session, the better you usually will feel. This is of course true of most things, that the more you do it, the more improvement you’ll see. You can’t workout one hour a week and expect to be a bodybuilder!