What is your style of counseling?
I am currently enrolled in advanced training to become a Certified Synergetic Play Therapist (graduation May 2021) www.synergeticplaytherapy.com. I also incorporate cognitive behavioral (CBT) and client centered approaches.
Depending on the person I'm working with and the context of therapy, I may use a directive or non-directive style.
What can I expect?
Generally speaking, the more you are committed to counseling the more you may benefit from it.
When counseling children, I start with a parent intake appointment without the child present. This is an opportunity to share about the history of the problem, how it has been addressed and to give a background of family dynamics. The second session is typically reserved for the child to get acclimated to the counseling room and to begin to feel comfortable with their counselor. For subsequent appointments, the first 10 minutes of the session are spent with the parent/s or caregiver in order to work on parenting strategies or to connect about challenges or progress since the last session. After that, assuming the child feels comfortable, the rest of the session is reserved for the child and counselor to build a therapeutic relationship. I will often start off more non-directly with the child leading the session so they can begin to show me their world. If the child is hesitant to enter the room and they want mom, dad or the caregiver to come along, that is perfectly fine. We will work as a group until the child feels comfortable entering the room alone. Many children are excited to have the undivided attention of an adult and look forward to coming to counseling.
For teens and adults, counseling may be looked upon as taking a big step to reach out for help. I hope you find the process to be one that feels safe, respectful and welcoming. It takes a lot of strength to open up about feeling stuck, depressed, hurt or confused in your life. I view my role as one who listens, gives feedback, challenges, reframes, offers coping tools, and walks alongside each person as fits best for their personality, struggles and goals.