So, you’re thinking about starting therapy…And you probably have several questions!
“What exactly is therapy?
What is the experience of therapy?
Will I be doing it right?
Do I have to sit on a couch and talk about my unconscious??”
(for that last one…no, no you won’t…not at WCC at least).
As common as these questions are among new clients, they rarely get answered. Many clients entering counseling for the first time (second, third, or even tenth time) have these exact questions — and more. Typically the counselor will explain his or her treatment approach (a way to ‘cure’ what you are currently struggling with) and leave it at that…not very informative is it?
So, allow me to de-mystify some of the ambiguity with the counseling process.
First and foremost – counseling is about YOU (and that can be intimidating). Counseling is not about the therapist and how they are, but YOU and what has been happening in your life that continues to make it unfulfilling. Many people find the aspect of only talking about themselves scary and unpleasant…Why is that you ask? Well, ask yourself… when is the last time you were truly able to discuss YOU without interruption or the other person talking about themselves? The answer may not be great, and probably less that you were hoping for. But that’s what we do, we listen and we allow you to be heard 100%.
Additionally, therapy is about hearing yourself. Yes, you read that right – hearing yourself. The counselors at WCC are skilled at the subtle art of ‘reflection in action’ (a term for listening to the “undercurrent” of what is being stated”). This subtle, yet difficult skill to master, allows a skilled counselor to hear what you are saying and reflect it back to you to allow you to hear what you, may or may not, be meaning… This is a great way to explore ways you may be “tricking yourself” into continuing any pattern or behavior in your life that is causing problems.
Counseling is able to highlight and bring forth behaviors/patterns/bad coping skills that are keeping you from leading a fulfilling life and even maintaining your presenting problem (what is bringing you to counseling). Ever wonder why you seem to fall into that same old pattern — whether it be relationships, depression, anxieties, fears, work, etc.?? A skilled counselor is going to be able to address these issues in an empathetic way to better help you understand yourself and what is keeping you stuck. We may not always be on point, but together we can help get to a better understanding.
Finally, how do you know you’re doing it right? You will start to FEEL BETTER, think better, and generally be happier. Your goals for coming to therapy will start to be met. This may take a couple weeks or a couple months – there are no “supposed to’s” in counseling.
Keep in mind, if you’re still having any questions, just ask your therapist. At WCC we pride ourselves on being open and honest with our clients. Many of our counselors even offer a free ten minute consultation to any prospective client. All in all, although this blog cannot address all your questions, feel free to call (or if you’re not cool with calling — an email) your specific questions or concerns. We will be sure to address any thing you may have in mind!