DO I NEED COUNSELING?
People come to counseling for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there is a triggering event, such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a traumatic experience. Sometimes it is for a psychological or mood disorder, such as anxiety or depression. Sometimes it is for support in making a change, such as exploring new career opportunities, living a healthier lifestyle, or going away to college. Many people use counseling as an opportunity for personal growth and exploration with the support of an honest and caring therapist. Counseling is right for anyone looking to take steps towards increasing their self-awareness and resiliency.
WHAT IS COUNSELING LIKE? HOW LONG WILL I NEED COUNSELING?
Each person’s reasons for attending counseling are unique. It is standard for counselors to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during counseling. Counseling may be short-term to address a specific issue or may be more open-ended in order to address more complex, long-standing problems. For counseling to be most effective, you must be an active participant during and outside of session. You may be asked to read a relevant book or track certain behaviors. It is important to integrate what is discussed during session into your life.
HOW CAN COUNSELING HELP ME?
Counseling can assist you with:
- Gaining a better understanding of yourself
- Identifying your personal goals and creating a plan to meet them
- Finding resolution to issues and concerns that brought you to therapy
- Learning practical ways to cope with stress, anxiety, anger, depression, or grief
- Changing old behavior patterns and creating new ones
- Improving self-esteem and boosting confidence
CAN’T I JUST TAKE MEDICATION?
Taking medication has its benefits; however, medications treat the symptoms, whereas therapy addresses the root of the emotional distress and behavioral patterns that hinder personal growth and progress. In some cases, a combination of medication and counseling is the best course of action. Working with your medical doctor or a psychiatrist can help determine what is best for you.
IS COUNSELING CONFIDENTIAL?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The counselor is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The counselor is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The counselor will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure his or her safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.