Nature of Counseling:
As your therapist, I am here to help you adequately understand, accept, take responsibility for and respond to your current problem, personal challenge, or discomforting situation that you may be currently facing. As my client, it is good for you to keep in mind that you have chosen me to assist you in responding to a problem that is important to you. The fact that you have called and made an appointment with me indicates you are motivated to address your challenging situation and achieve goals that are important to you.
I use an approach to counseling which takes into account the personal, psychological, spiritual, social and biological dimensions of each person. Simply put, I take into account the full personhood of each individual, couples, and families I work with in relationship therapy. As we work together, the following thoughts and perspectives will be helpful for you to keep in mind:
- I value, respect, appreciate and enjoy every person/couple/family that I have the opportunity to work with. It is good for you to remember that I, as your therapist/counselor, “work for you.” You are my client, paying me a fee to help you achieve goals or outcomes that are important for you to achieve whether that be in your relationships, marriage, sex life or overcoming depression, anxiety, or self esteem issues.
- Our work together has a specific focus; our collaboration is positive in nature; the goals that you identify are achievable; your progress is measurable; and all the while, we keep the desired outcome in mind.
- The development of your personhood is one of my highest values as we work together. Therapy has everything to do with the growth and empowerment of you as a person so that as you move forward, achieving the goals that are meaningful to you, I assist you in developing a solid foundation needed to reach your goals and sustain the progress you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
- I believe in process first, outcome second. In other words, I do not believe in fitting individuals, couples, or families into a pre-conceived formula or outcome. Rather, I assist you as you work toward the results that are achievable and sustainable by you. Relationship therapy/counseling is customized to match your abilities, keeping your goals and aspirations in mind. This approach helps facilitate an understanding of the difference between “fantasy” and “reality.” As I often say to my clients/patients: “Reality is your friend.”
- Our time together will be dynamic and interactive. Therapy/counseling is not simply a process where I, as your marriage therapist, tell you “what to do.” Rather, I will assist you as you explore your own values and options available to you.
- The focus of our time together will be the immediate present events and circumstances of your life, taking into consideration any past events that have significantly shaped or influenced your life. Past events are relevant only if your present progress in becoming who you wish to become, is being significantly hindered.
- My theoretical approach to individual and marriage therapy/counseling is very much psychodynamic. By “psychodynamic,” I simply mean that life change must concern itself with issues in our lives that are “below-the-waterline,” (picture an iceberg in the ocean) beyond our immediate awareness and not simply above the waterline where we have conscious awareness of our actions, behaviors, and motivations.[Books that may be helpful in understanding this perspective are: Inside Out, by Larry Crabb; Encouragement: The Key to Caring, by Larry Crabb and Dan Allender; The Emotionally Healthy Church, and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, by Peter Scazzero; Psychotherapy in a New Key, by Hans Strupp and Jeffrey Binder; Individual Psychotherapy and the Science of Psychodynamics, by David Malan.]
- My theoretical approach to couples and relationship therapy/counseling is very much systemic. Systems theory simply means that important dynamics are going on between individuals in a relationship (marriage, family, significant friendships, work relationships) as well as within those individuals.[Books that may be helpful in understanding this perspective are: Extraordinary Relationships and The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory, by Roberta Gilbert; Family Evaluation, by Murray Bowen and Michael Kerr; Passionate Marriage and Intimacy and Desire, by David Schnarch]
The relationship which we establish and maintain will be characterized by mutual respect and cooperation. Together, our hope and expectation will be that you will grow and mature, coming within a reasonable time to a place of competence where you can resolve your problems and/or live with manageable discomfort without my assistance or intervention. I will offer you vehicles, principles, and methods which you can utilize in the achievement of this goal in our therapy sessions.
Although our relationship therapy sessions may be intense psychologically (you may experience some emotions that are pleasant or unpleasant), it is important that we acknowledge that we have a professional relationship rather than a social one. Our contact will basically be limited to the sessions you arrange with me. You may learn some information about me personally as we work together during your counseling experience. However, it is important for you to remember that you are experiencing me largely in my professional role.
I assure you that my services will be rendered in a professional manner consistent with accepted ethical standards. Sessions are 50 minutes in duration. Please note that it is impossible to guarantee any specific results regarding your counseling goals. However, together we will work to achieve the best possible results for you.