How does counseling help?
Counseling can give you a new perspective on your situation, lead to clearer thinking, increase energy, give you a better understanding of your feelings and needs, turn down overwhelming emotions, and provide a greater sense of wholeness and calm within yourself. Therapy is a process. Nothing gets better right away. You have to start to let things out for you to begin to feel better. Together we can find new tools to help you continue to improve and feel better on your own.
What can I expect at the first session?
You can expect to talk about the concern(s) that brought you into counseling and also about your background and personal history. You can share on a level that feels comfortable for you. You can also expect to have some brief paperwork to fill out. In addition, your first session is a time to ask me questions, to help you understand the counseling process and to figure out if we are a good fit going forward. Finding the right counselor is important because the relationship and sense of trust you build with that person will have a big impact on your ability to fully invest in the therapeutic process and in your own healing.
What about privacy?
What you talk about in counseling is confidential, which means no one, other than you and your counselor, has the right to see your records unless you sign a release of information saying it is okay for your counselor to talk to another person or send information to another party, like a doctor.
Limits to confidentiality:
If a young person is being hurt/abused in a physical or sexual way or neglected by an older person
Serious intent to complete suicide, as in a plan and a means to kill themselves.
Serious intent and plan to kill someone else.
If the person is in imminent danger, then a counselor would have to report to the appropriate people to keep them safe.