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What Happens in Counseling?
Counseling for Beginners
If you have never seen a therapist before, therapy might seem very foreign. Maybe your only experience with what actually happens in counseling comes from TV shows or movies (ever seen the Sopranos?). Or maybe you have only heard things second hand from your friends and family who have sought help in therapy. You might know that you need help, but how can a therapist help you?
Today, you will learn more about what actually happens in the counseling room, and how therapy can help you, too (Related article: Counseling: About Marriage and Family Therapists).
The Decision to Start Counseling
First, you should know that deciding to see a therapist is a big decision. You should be proud of yourself! It isn’t easy to decide to reach out for help when you are struggling. Therapists are a source of impartial, non-judgemental support for a wide range of issues you might be experiencing (Related Article: Depression Counseling).
So, how do you know that therapy is right for you? To start, you should know that nearly anyone can benefit from therapy. You can seek help for many different reasons. For example, maybe you are having a hard time planning your future and making a big life decision. Or maybe you are having relationship issues and can’t seem to connect with your partner. Or you are feeling anxious and you can’t figure out how to cope (Related Article: How to Cope- Individual Therapy). There isn’t one “ideal” reason to seek counseling. If you believe you need help, you are in the right place.
But how can a therapist help?
No matter the reason you seek therapy, your therapist is ready and willing to help you navigate some of your biggest challenges and frustrations. Counseling is based on scientific research that has been specifically designed to help people seeking help, like you! (Related article: Therapy). Your therapist will help you understand yourself, your relationships, and your world so that you can make the best decisions for your life. Therapists work from a problem-solving perspective, and will help you decide how to make the most of your opportunities. (Related Article: How to Be Emotionally Healthy).
What will I do in therapy?
The specifics of the conversations with your therapist will vary based on a few factors. First, your therapist will use different techniques and approaches for problem solving based on your needs and personality.
For example, maybe you like having a structured plan you can use and follow to work through your concerns. You are struggling to work through anxious thoughts about your job. (Related article: Anxiety Help- Tips and Resources from a Counselor). In this case, your therapist might use a style of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy. Also called CBT, this style is a structured way to work through your thoughts and understand how to work through your feelings of anxiety about work (Related Article: What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?).
Or, maybe you are coming to therapy with your spouse, and you are trying to improve your emotional connection but aren’t sure where to begin. Your therapist might use a therapeutic style called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which can help you improve your attachment and understand your emotions as a couple (Related Article: Read More About Emotionally Focused Therapy).
Counseling Can Help
There are so many different styles and approaches to counseling, and your therapist is trained to find the most impactful approach for your specific needs. You should be ready to discuss different details about the specific concerns that have motivated you to seek help. Additionally, your therapist will work with you to get a better understanding of who you are and how you work. From there, they will empower you to find success, both while you are actively participating in therapy, but also long after you stop seeing a therapist.
The ultimate goal of counseling is to make sure you have the tools you need to live a happy, fulfilling life, despite the ups and downs you will experience along the way. Counseling, above all, can help you become more resilient. (Related article: Resilience).
Ready to start counseling? Get started today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins