Why Individual Counseling?
Are you feeling stuck or in a rut? Does it feel like you live your days driven by fears, resentments, hurts, boredom, guilt, or other thoughts and emotions? Are you struggling with how to adjust yourself to something new, such as being single, retired, married, or a parent? Sometimes dealing with problems can feel like spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. If you’re like most people who come to counseling, you have probably already tried other strategies, such as these:
- Trying to “figure out” why you are the way you are.
- Reading a stack of self-help books.
- Spending a lot of time talking yourself out of certain feelings or certain thoughts.
- Pulling away from activities you value but that make these feelings worse.
- Distracting yourself through work, TV, shopping, staying busy, or turning to substances or risky behaviors.
Even though some of these may work somewhat in the short term, nothing works for long, and in the meantime you feel like your life is passing you by.
It Is Normal to Struggle with Difficult Thoughts, Emotions, and Behaviors
People come to therapy because life is inherently difficult. In other words, struggling to live fully and engage with life is the norm rather than the exception. All stages of life bring challenges. For example:
- Retiring is supposed to be a wonderful event, but living without a job can also leave you feeling lost and useless.
- Seeing our children off into their own independent lives is exciting, but it can also fill us with worries or guilt.
- Ending a committed relationship that hasn’t worked can feel liberating, but it may leave you full of self-doubt, loneliness, and resentments.
These are all normal struggles and experiencing pain or difficulty when trying to deal with them is typical—it’s a normal response to living a life that feels somehow out of joint.
Counseling Can Help
Meeting with one of us can help because, as therapists, we will listen to your concerns without judgment and with empathy and support. Therapy can be a conversation about important or painful things that might be difficult to talk about with others. It can be an opportunity to explore areas of your life that you want to make peace with or more sense of. Or, it can be a time to identify and remove the obstacles getting in the way of you living the life you want to live. We can work together in several ways, depending on what you need and find most useful. For example:
- We can focus on developing a different relationship to unwanted experiences, thoughts, and emotions so they are not overwhelming and so you spend less time and energy trying to avoid them.
- We can spend time figuring out what you value most so you can find a way forward. We do this by discussing your beliefs, goals, and most deeply held values so you can express what you truly want your life to be about.
- We can spend time thinking about how we will know if our working together is helping. That is, if our time together is working effectively, how will your life be different?
Together we can learn how to better handle your most difficult experiences without getting caught up in them, commit to those values that bring joy to your life, and help you take action toward those values.
We understand the thought of visiting a counselor can be difficult. Various hurdles may stand between you and beginning therapy with us.
- How long? No one wants to get drawn into a long-term process without an end in sight. We understand this concern, and the length of our work together will always be up to you. We work with clients for a single session, ten sessions, or for whatever length feels valuable to you.
- I don’t want to be labeled! You do not have to be labeled with a mental illness to benefit from counseling. We will not automatically label you with a diagnosis, nor will we think you are “crazy” because you want to talk to someone about something you are struggling with.
- I’m not the kind of person who asks for help. Asking for help may be extremely difficult for you—it requires strength to reach out to someone for support. We understand this and believe you deserve someone who is sensitive and kind about the difficulty of asking for help.
- I’m uncomfortable with “touchy feely.” Forget about the movie versions of therapy and the question “And how does that make you feel?” We will have real conversations with you about the things you find important.
If you are ready to discuss individual counseling, please call or email us. We are happy to provide a free phone consultation to answer your questions, or schedule a session.