Whether you have been in counseling before or this is your first time, it makes it easier when you know what to expect.
The Therapeutic Relationship
Regardless of the type of counseling or therapy offered, the relationship between the client and the therapist is crucial. I offer respect, support, openness, and a safe environment to "unload" your burdens. It is my hope that these attributes, along with the comfort and companionship of the animal staff members, help you to develop a feeling of trust & safety.
Trust & Safety
The first part of any counseling/therapeutic relationship involves the development of trust and safety. Depending on your previous experiences with the human race, this could be established in the first few sessions or it may take months or more to establish. During this time we get to know one another through talking or educational/informational session. Some people come in with very specific problems or requests that allow us to start addressing the issues immediately. I have found that I always have plan 'B'; the client shows up with plan 'A' and their own Inner Healer. I trust the wisdom within each individual that I work with, but am prepared to help devise a plan that may expedite the process if you are open to it.
Often times we experience distress in our lives because we don't haven't been taught good coping or communication skills. Skill building may include learning effective communication skills, how to develop emotional intimacy, different roles that we may be unknowingly playing and understanding the role of emotions in our lives. Depending on your situation, skill building can be an essential component of a successful counseling experience.
When the client feels enough trust & safety to start delving deeper into the things that are creating their distress, the "working" phase begins. This may include more direct discussions, experiential activities, HMR or hypnotherapy. These sessions are designed to help you recognize and re-frame old beliefs, values or patterns that cause the distress you experience in your life.
During this phase, we collaborate to develop the changes you are ready to start incorporating into your life. This allows you to start testing the waters of how your life might be more successful.
Termination & Support
The goal for counseling is to help you reach the vision you have set for yourself. The time is takes varies for each individual and the problems they are working to relieve. Ongoing support is always available to you, even after termination. Many people find it effective to check in at different points of their lives to seek support or to explore other issues without having to re-create a relationship with another therapist.