I made an appointment to see the counselor that the man from Toastmasters recommended. The counselor’s name is Fred.
Fred emailed documents consisting of the usual stuff: forms for name, address, SS#, insurance info, directions to the office, etc.
There was also a “disclosure” document telling his background, his approach, confidentiality, fees, etc.
So, when I read about his approach, which I’ve copied below, suddenly I felt very afraid, or rather, as I’ve been told, very anxious.
Is it possible to fail counseling? What if I am not “good enough?” What if I can’t make the changes I need to make?
I know I can always look for someone else to work with, but sometimes I wonder if I am afraid to actually make the changes I need to make.
Or maybe it will work out well to work with Fred since in the past I have been, and to a degree still am, a very solutions focused person.
Counseling Services Offered/Theoretical Approaches
People can make better decisions if they have enough information to understand how something works. Here are some aspects of counseling and therapy as I see and practice it.
Counseling includes your active involvement as well as efforts to change your thoughts, feeling and behaviors. You will have to work both in and out of the counseling sessions. There is no instant, painless, or passive cures, no “magic pills.” Instead there will be homework assignments, exercise, writing, journals and perhaps-other projects. Most likely, you will have to work on relationships and make long-term efforts. Sometimes change will be easy and swift, but more often it will be slow and deliberate; effort may need to be repeated.
I take an educative approach to people’s problems and encourage you to learn more about the kind of therapy I perform. My approach is derived from a “Solution Focused Model” developed by William Hudson-O’Hanlon, “A Brief Therapy Model” as outlined by Michelle Wiener-Davis, William Hudson-O’Hanlon, and Brian Cade. These are researched and effective therapies. You are encouraged to become knowledgeable about goals, methods, and effectiveness. I am also flexible in my approach integrating the use of other modalities to meet the client’s needs.
I am also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This is an intervention that utilizes rapid eye movement to desensitize traumatic or disturbing memories. These memories may be the basis of current anxiety or depressive disorders.
If we are to work together we will need to specify the goals, foci and methods, risk and benefits of treatments, the approximate commitment involved, cost and other aspects of your particular situation. Before going further, I expect us to agree on a plan to which we will both adhere. Periodically, we will evaluate our progress and, if necessary, redesign our treatment plan, goals and methods.
As with any powerful intervention, there are both benefits and risk associated with counseling and therapy. Risk might include experiencing uncomfortable levels of feeling like sadness, guilt, anxiety, and anger, or frustration, or having difficulties with other people. Some changes may lead to what seems to be worsening circumstances or even losses (for example, counseling will not necessarily keep a marriage intact).
Clients I have worked with are psychologically and mentally “healthy” and seek counseling for difficulties due to normal life events. I do not take on clients whom, in my professional opinion; I cannot help using the techniques that I have available. I will enter our relationship with optimism and eagerness to work with you. I have a special interest helping adults with depression, anxiety and stress related issues.