Questions often asked by first time clients:
Who Needs Therapy?
Many people think you have to be "sick" before seeking out therapy, but this isn't true. Just as you don't have to be drowning before taking swimming lessons, your life doesn't have to be falling apart before seeking therapy. If you are in some way confused, anxious or dissatisfied with your life, your work, your family, your relationships, or friends...it is important to deal with the problems before they become critical.
Will my sessions be confidential?
Absolutely. We do not discuss your sessions or reveal your information without your permission. Of course, if our clients are a danger to themselves or anyone else, we have a legal responsibility to report it to the appropriate agencies. At the first session we will discuss confidentiality and our legal and ethical obligations to all our clients.
What do you mean by Christian counselor?
It means that we work within our Christian belief and value system. We have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and believe that God has the power to strengthen and heal each person and their relationships. However, we respect that our clients may have different backgrounds and religious beliefs, and we will not make decisions for them. Whenever a person desires to address spiritual issues in counseling, it is a privilege to share our faith. Please be aware that we are only able to provide this aspect of counseling at your request.
Christian vs Secular Counseling
Psalm 1:1 tells us we should not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Christian counseling is unique because it also works with a person's spiritual side as well as mental health and emotional. The counselor is allowed to partner with God to bring hope and healing to the client. This is done by providing support and promoting scriptural insight. Respect for the dignity and worth of each individual is paramount to the process. A person's personal beliefs are respected and clarified. The therapist's apply Christian values and standards to a situation.
There is a difference between a Christian counselor practicing secular counseling and a Christian counselor who uses Christian counseling techniques and beliefs.
What happens on the first appointment?
Many people feel anxious about meeting with a therapist for their first appointment. The purpose of the meeting is to gather basic information and provide recommendations. The therapist will ask questions about your life; what you do, your background, expectations you have about therapy, your goals, and dilemmas. Therapy is very private. You may be assured you can talk openly about what is on your mind without fear of anyone outside finding out about it. During the first session, you may schedule future appointments and tentatively work out how long you may need to continue in order to relieve your stress and work on your issues. Often one 50-minute session every one to two weeks for several months is required, depending on the presenting issues. The length of time can vary from client to client.
Do You See Couples for Therapy?
Yes, couples benefit from seeing a counselor when they are experiencing issues that they cannot work through together. We work with the couple to establish and clarify the goals of therapy. Often, the goals include increasing communication skills, improving ways to handle conflicts, enhancing the closeness and warmth of the relationship. Therapy may involve specific assignments to do between the sessions that may include thinking about something, writing ideas down or doing something with your partner supports what you are learning in counseling sessions together.