There are many reasons that individuals choose to talk with a counselor. While it’s true that some cultures continue to be hesitant to seek counseling, it can be very helpful to have someone to talk to and process life transitions and challenges. For the most part, I find that the individuals and couples who come to see me in my practice are seeking personal growth.
The first 45-50 minute session is spent getting to know the client. Listening and asking questions to gather as much information as I can to help understand the client’s goal(s), but also the challenges that may be standing in the way, as well as the stengths and resources that they have to tap into.
During the second session, we develop a plan together. That plan will include prioritizing what the client wants to work on, how I am going to help, and how often to meet.
One of the most important aspects in counseling is that the client feels comfortable with the therapist, being able to develop a level of trust. The therapist should be ethical and professional, nonjudgmental, and provide sound counseling based on best practice guidelines.
It’s as if counseling is a journey, and the therapist is holding a lantern, being there with the client, encouraging, nudging, teaching, and sometimes confronting.
The client should feel free to ask questions. A frequent question is how long will therapy take? A therapist might estimate, however, each persons goals, challenges and strengths are different. My goal is that my clients reach their goals as quickly as possible. In many ways, the client sets the speed through therapy, determining what is going to work for them, while the therapist holds the lantern and provides the tools.