Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I really need support?

It’s a little different for everyone. Some signs that you might need some help from a professional are when the way you feel begins to negatively impact your sleep, your job, appetite, relationships with friends and loved ones, or your decision-making abilities. If you find that you feel “blue” a lot, or that things just aren’t getting better or even that things seem hopeless – these are also pretty strong indicators that it’s time to seek out a trained professional to help.

Why shouldn’t I try to just work through this on my own.

It’s easy to put off seeking out help for something that’s negatively impacting the way we feel. In fact, the decision to get help can actually be extremely difficult for many people. Often times we dismiss feelings of anxiety, emotional pain, relationship stress, or depression as “just life” – even to the point of encountering real difficulty in normal day-to-day functioning. Deciding to take responsibility for your mental health and well-being is an empowering first step. It takes courage and puts you back in control of your feelings and your life. Even this small action step of reaching out can have a surprisingly positive effect on your outlook.

What does professional counseling provide?

Professional counseling gives you an opportunity to receive caring support while also gaining new understanding and perspective. Life can be hard at times, and difficult circumstances are sometimes beyond our control, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Professional support helps you set achievable goals and begin to make lasting changes to help you reach them.

What happens in a typical session?

Since the needs and goals of every client are different,  sessions vary in format and approach. Sometimes clients come with an agenda or specific things they’d like to talk about. Other times, they have an emotion that’s bothering them, or negative thoughts they can’t shake. Sessions progress based on the needs of the client, but active participation and collaboration is important. In addition to session discussion, I encourage outside activities that we discuss later (like reading a book, meditation or keeping a journal). Ultimately, the goal is to identify the areas where change is needed, set realistic goals, and practice until you and life feels good again.

Do I have to share things I don’t want to?

Certain topics or stories can be difficult to share, and that’s normal and OK. You don’t have to share anything that makes you uncomfortable. It’s important to feel comfortable with your provider and to build a trusting relationship between counselor and client.  Sessions always progress at a pace that you feel ready for.

How long does it take?

Because the process is tailored specifically to each person and the goals and challenges they are facing, there’s no pre-defined period of time for on-going therapy sessions. Sometimes progress is made in months but it’s not uncommon for therapy to span into years.  Especially when one develops a trusting and supportive bond in their professional relationship.