The First Appointment
Many people show up for the first appointment with at least nervous, suspicious, or even skeptical that counseling can do anything for them. That’s actually very reasonable. A good counselor should be able to answer all of your questions, help you make sense of your problems, and demonstrate how the suggestions made could help improve your relationship. During our initial session we will ask you to share with us, from your perspective, what types of challenges you’re experiencing and how long they have been present. We might also ask a little bit about your family and experiences growing up. Enough to help us understand what types of relationships you saw and how your past might be impacting your expectations for this relationship. At the end of the session we will share with you what we’ve heard, our initial perspectives on your challenges, and then make recommendations for where we’d like to go with your case. At that time you will have the opportunity to once again ask any questions you have to make sure everything was clear, seems reasonable, and that you are getting what you want out of counseling.
What We Work On
One thing that almost everyone coming to see us have in common is that their friendship, has been neglected or damaged. When this happens small conflicts become big conflicts, big conflicts become huge conflicts, and no conflicts are forgotten about. The most important thing we do in counseling is working on rebuilding or repairing. This is a sign that trust is slowly starting to be restored. When you have a relationship built on trust and a solid friendship most conflicts aren’t nearly as threatening and tend to work themselves out.
There are some conflicts, however, that for a variety of reasons have become bigger than you. Maybe you weren’t able to resolve the issue so it got pushed under the rug. Perhaps it was so big no one knew how to even begin working on it. These are some of the ways conflict can leave you in a state of gridlock. Together we will work on resolving and healing the hurts from these past conflicts.
What The Counselor Does
It is our job to teach our clients how to make a relationship work. We will help you understand the sources of your conflicts and the roadblocks keeping you from being able to communicate and resolve them. We will help you walk through whatever specific issues you have to begin to heal the past and help you move forward. We will show you how to keep different priorities, values, and communication styles from threatening your friendship. Finally we will teach you how to safeguard your relationship in ways that are practical, reasonable, and easy to understand.
What You Can Expect
It’s very important to us that all our clients are being set up to be successful on their own. In the office you can expect we will help you work through and heal conflicts. We will teach you how to prioritize your relationship so it doesn’t go back to this place again. Many people come in overwhelmed, frustrated, and feeling defeated. The last thing they need is for a counselor to judge them, change them, ask them to be someone they aren’t, or give them unrealistic things to do. Weekly date nights and weekend getaways are wonderful but if you are working full time and raising children on a budget that may not be very realistic. Since many happy individuals/couples tend to fit that description we also know you shouldn’t have to do those things to have a successful relationship. We will look at yours and your family’s priorities, strengths, and challenges to figure out together how to make the relationship strong.