Common Questions

"Happy Marriages are based on deep friendship, mutual respect and enjoyment of each other's company..."

How can counseling help me?
 
Pre-Marital and Couples Counseling is a form of psychotherapy. Although most couples do not see themselves as needing a "therapist", all couples encounter areas of incompatibility. When couples deal with these areas and with problematic patterns before they become difficult to resolve, the relationship tends to improve quickly and have long lasting results. The following will explain what counseling (or therapy) is, how it works, and what you can expect.

A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies. Some issues commonly encountered are depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, finances, difficulty managing anger, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and more. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem and point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available include:
 
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
 
Do I really need counseling?  I can usually handle my problems.  
  
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking guidance. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 


Why should I go to counseling and how do I know if it is right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.  Some may be going through a major life transition (marriage, unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  

Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.   In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and are ready to make changes. 
   
What is counseling like?
 
Each person has different issues and goals for counseling.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
 
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in your sessions back into your life.  Your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and look forward to having more control over their emotions and actions.   
 
 
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
 
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but with your therapist. State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
 
* Reporting of suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including    Child Protection and law enforcement.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
 

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