Thursday, August 11, 2016

What to Expect in Counseling

Many people know they need help, but aren’t sure that counseling is a good fit for them. If only you could have a sneak peek into what really happens in counseling sessions. The stereotype is that you lie down on a couch and a therapist sits with a note pad and nods. This is rarely the case. Every counselor is different and has a different theoretical orientation and style in the counseling room. For me, I enjoy getting to know my client in the first session. I want the person to feel heard and to feel comfortable with the process. The subsequent sessions are up to the client. We can certainly do a more directive approach in order to change thoughts and behaviors, or we can choose a more existential approach where we work together to find meaning in your life. The key is, you are in charge.  What many people fail to realize is that success in therapy has little to do with the counselor or even the counseling method, but the effort the individual puts in. There is often work to do outside of the sessions. I enjoy helping people find growth and healing in their life.

Counseling for children can be completely different. Parents often ask if their child is just going to sit and talk to me for 45 minutes. They know the family needs help to repair emotional or behavioral struggles but “talk therapy” seems unrealistic. That’s because it is. For most kids under the age of 8, play therapy is the ideal treatment. Play therapy uses the natural language of children. This is a time to set boundaries, learn coping skills, and express emotions. Play therapy is research based and effective when working with young children. Elementary aged children have a hybrid of play and talk therapy. I refer to it as activity based therapy, as we often learn to cope with emotions through play and activities. Lastly, teenagers often enjoy counseling as a time to discuss problems and to work on managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, etc. However, it wouldn’t be unusual for me to play a game of chess with a teenage client while talking. You’d be surprised at how much we can talk and accomplish once everyone is relaxed. 
Written by: Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPC-S
Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and the Clinical Director at Cy-Hope Counseling. Amy has been practicing for over ten years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Cypress, Texas and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Learn more about Amy's counseling style by visiting www.amyrollocounseling.com

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