What kinds of things do people seek help for?
People seek counseling for a variety of reasons including feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, worried, sad, or angry. People also seek out counseling to help change behaviors that are troubling them such as addictions or behaviors that affect their relationships at home or at work. Some people seek counseling because they have a life goal that has been not been met and want assistance on how to meet that long time goal and feel fulfilled. Other people seek out counseling because they know they are going through a difficult time or facing a difficult decision and they desire a place to sort through their feelings and move forward in their life with intention and clear thinking.
How does counseling help?
When a counseling relationship is working well, clients experience new insights into their situations, clearer thinking, increased energy, better understanding of their feelings and needs, release of troubling emotions that have held them back or been confusing, and a greater sense of wholeness and peace within themselves. Therapy is a process and a working partnership develops between client and therapist. Clients should feel comfortable with their therapist and feel comfortable asking questions regarding the process.
Is what I say confidential?
Yes. All client-therapist conversations are private and confidential. If a child/adolescent is the client, confidentiality is discussed during the intake. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Deborah strictly follows the professional ethical standards of the National Board of Certified Counselors and American Counseling Association. Only in rare cases when the safety of a client or others is at risk can disclosure of confidential client-therapist information take place.
What can I expect at the first session?
During the first couple of sessions, you will be asked a list of intake questions. You can expect to talk about the concern(s) that brought you into counseling and also about your background and personal history. This will help Deborah get a better understanding of you and your environment, family, coping mechanisms, social history, and more. You will be promised a nurturing and non-judgmental environment. You can also expect to have some brief paperwork to fill out. Other paperwork will be sent to you prior to the appointment to be filled out and brought with you.
If the client is a child or adolescent, Deborah will interview the parent(s)/guardian(s) for the first part of the intake to get background information and then talk to the child/adolescent separately. Deborah usually then meets together with the child or adolescent and parent(s)/guardians(s) to ensure the limits of confidentiality is understood by all parties and goals are then created by next session.
How long does a counseling session take?
Most people should see their therapist at least once a week for consistent progress to be made. Deborah strongly believes consistency is key to a successful therapeutic relationship. After progress has been made, sessions are typically every other week and become more spread out within time.