I’m thrilled to introduce my new website celebrating my private practice and other services. Having the opportunity to hone my psychotherapy counseling and psychological assessment/testing skills in various settings over the year, it’s been my goal to be able to bring these services to general public and serve those in my community.
What is Counseling?
Psychologists tend to describe their practices with peaceful and poetic words, which I find much value in. However, I think it’s important to discuss how counseling works for the average person who is essentially paying to feel better. First off, it’s a process, and research demonstrates that people tend to feel worse in the first few sessions before starting to feel some relief. Why is that? Well, you’re putting everything on the table, and have to confront and sit with feelings and experiences without an “answer.” Then there’s usually a sense of hope and healing that occurs as you gain insight and skills to navigate how to navigate this terrain in a more effective way. There’s no miracle cure, but rather putting your feelings, behavior, and body into a cohesive context to better manage any symptoms or distress in the most realistic fashion for your respective environment (much like the image below). Psychological interventions aside, approximately 40% of the change and relief experienced in counseling is related to the relationship that you build with your psychologist. Thus, at the core of counseling, is a trusting relationship. Counseling isn’t always comfortable, but it needs to be safe. Imagine rappelling down a cliff, it’s risky, but you want to trust the person watching your lines at the top.
My counseling style consists of (1) getting to know you and building this important relationship; (2) exploring your experiences to gain insight and “anchors” for change; (3) building skills to manage your distress or issues. Everyone needs something different in counseling, so I tailor my style accordingly. Perhaps you seek gaining insight and gaining a safe place to process your experiences. Or maybe you hope to learn practical skills to cope with stressors. It’s important to state your needs in counseling, so that the psychologist can adjust styles to suit you!
My hope is that if you’re reading this, then you’re already taken an important step. Making that first appointment and coming through the door is the hardest step to take, and most people wait years before accessing counseling. Your journey is your own; a psychologist is like a guide/consultant/relationship on one small part along the way.