“Happily ever-after” was the response by a young man when asked what name he would give a counseling agency. While his response was intended to be funny, the addition of sarcasm to his comment reflected a common mixture of hope and doubt; of suspicion and expectancy linked to seeking help within the counseling rooms.
Not always, but often, the decision to seek counseling often comes when a couple or individual are at their most troubled times in life. That is, either they themselves or someone else has said that there are no other options but to seek outside help for their current situation. As one man described it “I guess I’m ready to cry uncle” as he found his way into his first counseling session.
Thankfully, most people find that through the process of telling their stories to a neutral person, who is trained to help, they do find clarity and healing. No therapist has all of the answers, but a skilled counselor will work with a client to help them find their own needed insight and wisdom. This process can take a few sessions or many hours and includes learning to understand emotions, tolerate the discomfort of change, develop strategies that enable new patterns of thinking that lead to long lasting changes in the way we live.
Some considerations to make when selecting a therapist are any particular specialties that they may have such as working with children, anxiety/depression or working with trauma. In addition, do they accept insurance, can you use a health savings account or an Employee Assistance Program? When the counseling is for a teen or older child, having them involved in the process of selecting the therapist often helps them to be engaged and invested in the process before it event starts. This could include reading the bio together and seeing the picture of the individuals being considered.
Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Without a doubt, it takes great effort, bravery and a commitment of time in order to heal and change. We are blessed in this community to have many skilled clinicians who are equipped to help and who would be privileged to accompany you as you seek change in the in 2020.