Here at Relationships & More, most of our clients come to us for marriage counseling or couple’s therapy. However, we also provide individual and adolescent counseling. We essentially tailor our counseling to the needs of each client. This offers us the opportunity to help a wide variety of people from all walks of life.
Having said that, there are certain fundamentals that are part of every counseling session. You will experience them no matter what type of professional counseling you seek. We have taken the time to explain them below, so that you’re not caught off guard should you decide to get counseling at our Rye, NY clinic.
1. Lots of Conversation
Professional counseling is not a psychiatric practice in any way, shape, or form. Instead, it is a relational interaction between client and therapist. Sessions are based largely on talking things out. Therefore, you can expect a lot of conversation among participants.
Ideally, counselors want their clients to do most of the talking. We realize it generally doesn’t happen in the early stages of counseling but, as things progress and more sessions are completed, clients tend to talk more. That is good. That’s one of the goals.
2. Tough Questions
Counselors have to ask questions to find out where clients are at. Unfortunately, some of those questions can be pretty tough. They are not necessarily tough in the sense of not knowing the answer, but tough because they make clients feel uncomfortable. The questions are necessary to get to the heart of the conflict at hand.
Be prepared for some tough questions. Do your best to answer them openly and honestly. The sooner you and your counselor get the tough questions out of the way, the sooner you’ll be able to get to solutions.
3. Leading Questions
One of the trained therapist’s most productive tools is the leading question. What is a leading question? It is one designed to spur conversation with the goal of leading the client to figure out the answer for him or herself. A therapist could lay out all the answers and hope for the best, but counseling is usually more effective when the client reaches the correct conclusions by talking things through. Leading questions are designed to accomplish that.
4. Personal Revelations
A fundamental principle of counseling is that the counselor cannot really do anything to fix a client’s problems. There is nothing a counselor can do to change who the client is, as a person. The only one who can change that person is themself. To get to that point, counselors have to help their clients reveal hidden things about themselves. Those personal revelations can be difficult to accept.
5. Seemingly Obvious Solutions
Finally, successful counseling should lead to successful solutions. Be prepared to feel as though the solutions are so obvious you should have figured them out yourself. It is a normal reaction. When people are mired in relationship conflicts, they have a challenging time seeing the forest for the trees. They have a hard time seeing things that are right in front of them.
You can expect to experience all five of these things in any type of professional counseling. You will also experience some additional things specific to the type of counseling you are seeking. One thing to remember is this: professional counseling is only a tool to help you overcome your problems. There is nothing magical or mystical about it.
If you would like to learn more about couple’s, individual, or adolescent counseling at Relationships & More, contact us right away. We are here and ready to help.