What are my sessions going to be like?
It may be different from what you think and different from what you have experienced with other counselors or at other places. And, it may be exactly what you think it will be.
There are many fields that overlap in the people helping arena; psychiatry, psychology, social work, medicine, alcohol and substance specialists, mental health nursing and many areas of education and religion. There is a range of how the same problems may be addressed in sessions within each field. Most counselors are somewhere in the middle.
Some counselors are very passive and say little … acting as a reflector for your own thoughts in finding your own solutions. There is the other extreme of counselors that direct you in what to do and how to do it and hardly allow you to get a word in edgewise.
Some counselors are pro medications and some think medicine should be a last resort.
Some counselors meet with people once and never see them again and some may meet a couple times a week or more for several years. Some counselors want to work with the whole extended family in every session and some only meet with the individual and never want to meet anyone else.
The majority of professionals have been trained to do things in one way and get supervision to do this way more and more as their career goes on. I have never agreed that there is any one best way to do this work.
I have spent thirty years in training and supervision to have a wider range of problems I work with and more ways to do the work than the average professional therapist. In this way I strive to offer clients what may fit best for them; instead of clients needing to fit what I know.
Perhaps this is why new clients get the suggestion to make an appointment from past clients. I do accept referrals from physicians, ministers, lawyers, educators and other mental health workers; but, the majority come from family, co-workers or friends of clients who know me.
Is our Relationship Private and What We Talk About Private?
If we should ever cross paths in public; you would need to ‘say hello’ first. In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychologist.
No information is disclosed to anyone or any entity without prior written permission from the client or their legal representative. This includes family, employer, school, insurance, etc.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
If there is suspected child abuse or legally vulnerable adult abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police and/or the intended victim.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
is Becoming More Yourself ...
More of the Time