So – I am about to jump off into the world of blogging.. I have ideas, thoughts, things to share that I think could be useful for others. I’ve spent a lot of my professional life doing just that – helping others. As a teacher, a school principal, and now a Professional Counselor, helping other people learn has been my life’s work. And yet…how much of my personal self is appropriate to “show” in something like this? …as a therapist I am not the “blank slate” type. You won’t find me sitting across from you just nodding or using the famous “mm-hmm”. I am active, I respond, my clients can see how their words and their concerns affect me. That’s part of how I believe good therapy happens…there is a mutuality of response. That doesn’t mean that I am using my client’s time to deal with my personal issues…but it does mean that I am more open and more present in the relationship than perhaps some other styles of therapy allow.
People in this profession know that the good therapists are the ones who do their own personal work. If you haven’t dealt with (or if you don’t continue to deal with) whatever is going on in your own world, your instrument…your self…will not be clear and available to do the work with others.
Sharing ideas and experiences that come from my own self-understanding and from the work I’ve done over the years with clients in many different situations is something I want to do. This blog, as I now conceive it, will be about my own reactions and experiences . My hope is that I can provide tips to deal with life issues that might be useful to others. Here is a big disclaimer…please take what works for you…and leave the rest! I certainly don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do have a voice and years of experience that I am willing to share.
SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN CHOOSING A COUNSELOR
1. How do you feel when you meet them?
2. Do they demonstrate respect for you by informing you of their policies and procedures?
3. Do they clearly explain confidentiality…that counseling is confidential with exceptions that include needing to break confidentiality if a person is a danger to himself/herself or others, or if a person has knowledge of a situation of a minor child or elder being abused.?
4. Do you feel understood as you talk about your concerns? Does the counselor listen carefully and is the counselor able to ask questions that help you go deeper into your concerns?
Choosing a counselor is a big deal – a major investment of time, energy, and finances – and you need to feel right about the person you are working with. If you don’t feel like it is a fit, keep looking – because it is the relationship between you and your counselor that creates change.