Doing something for the first time can be nerve-wracking.
Sharing our hurt, pain, confusion, doubts, and fears with a stranger can be scary.
“What will she think of me? Are my issues weird?”
“I’m not sure if she can even help me. Nothing I’ve tried before has worked. What can she do that’s better?”
“What are the ‘rules’ of therapy?”
“Where do I sit?”
“Is 50 minutes really 60 or more?”
“Is it safe? I’m not so sure this is right for me.”
Putting things off? Here’s why…
You might think that going solo to see a stranger to talk about your deepest fears, anxieties, and problems is up there with getting a root canal.
Maybe necessary, but can’t it be put off for a while… maybe forever? Courage does not capture the feeling. Desperate… maybe. Crazy comes to mind.
Some seek therapy as a last resort after either trying to ignore the problem or attempting various techniques offered through a Google search.
Yet nothing seems to work, and that on its own can be depressing. And discouraging. And draining of all hope.
Self-medicating sounds appealing… as does hiding in a closet until the storm passes.
Starting therapy is easier than you might think.
There was a time when everyone was a stranger until you met them and got to know them.
When it comes to starting therapy, once you get past basic introductions and minimal sharing of your journey, it becomes a lot easier. That’s because I’m a professional trained to listen well, empathize, and not judge.
In therapy, you’ll unburden the pain knowing that it will be kept in strict confidence.
In therapy, you’ll restore hope that something will finally change.
In therapy, you’ll summon the courage to face the problem head-on.
So, starting therapy is easier than you might think. In fact, you might feel it like a breath of fresh air.
I do my best to put them at ease right away.
I’ll explain the expectations and invite the client to ask any questions that will help them relax and share their story.
The first session is mostly laying groundwork for further work: the client’s goals, hopes, desired outcomes of therapy. Based on that initial conversation (session?) therapy could take various paths.
For some, a different perspective is what is most needed, and basic talk therapy works. Other times when a client is especially anxious or worried, I teach various tapping techniques which is basically teaching how, why, and where to tap on the body to bring about relief.
Sometimes the client needs education which requires reading a book, or listening to a podcast, or Ted Talk, etc. outside of session and then process in counseling.
For some, better communication skills are needed, so I teach those skills with specific guidelines.
Finally, some get too stuck in their heads, so processing through play is really helpful. This can include telling a story in sand, or perhaps in drawing, or maybe playdough.
I believe everyone is unique in how they heal.
While I have what can seem like an eclectic approach, my overall goal is to bring about connection with the self and others, as that is where lasting change happens.
In the end, I want to work myself out of a job where the client feels empowered to make further changes on their own.
At the same time, I am always available for future tune-ups.
Ready to dance to a different tune?
I believe that you can effect change with just a single step – even a small one. It’s like dancing. Once you take a different step, the dance (and dance partner) has to change.
If you have been locked in a dance you hate, take a different step, and things will begin to change all on their own.
Realize, though, that toes might get stepped on, elbows might jab the ribs, and foreheads might knock with awkwardness and uncertainty.
But I will guide your steps, support the process, teach you new techniques, and soothe rattled nerves. I have many tools at my disposal to facilitate the process, and I’ll choose what best fits your personality, goals, and desires.
Take a deep breath and put your foot out. Things will begin to change.