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Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan
Counseling – What Type Of Client Are You?
Counseling isn’t something that you wake up in the morning thinking you need out of the blue. It is something that usually occupies your mind as your relationships or life become painful. You might have tried several things before committing to counseling that do or do not help. After failed attempts, you might decide that counseling is something you want to try. For couples, they often come in years after the first signs that they need it. Early intervention is best, but not always what happens.
When you do finally decide that counseling is right for you, keep in mind that that is just the beginning. But at least it’s the beginning. This is a place where you can actually make progress. Where other methods might have failed, counseling can help. There are no guarantees it will, but there are a few things to keep in mind that can make it more likely to help.
Solution Focused Therapy is an approach co-created by Insoo Kim Berg several decades ago. It has been instrumental in helping many people in counseling. She outlines three types of clients in therapy. I’ll outline them here in hopes that you can identify if you are a certain type before going in to get help.
If this is you, you probably aren’t reading this article! Or if you are, it’s because someone is making you. Visitors go to therapy because they are told to and not given a choice. Going into therapy because you are forced isn’t the best way to approach it, but at least you are in there. ‘Mandated’ treatment can still yield results.
An example of this type of client is a child who is brought in by parents. The child doesn’t want to be there, but doesn’t seem to have a choice. Or, a spouse brought by their partner because they were told their marriage is over if they don’t go. They might not really see the problem, other than the problem of them having to go to therapy.
If you are a complainant in counseling you are aware of the problem you are in therapy for. However, you probably think the solution lies in everyone else. Not you. If your marriage is not doing well, you think it’s because your partner is to blame. Or, that if the therapist would just fix your partner you would be ok.
An example of this is a client who comes to counseling for marriage issues, but just wants to talk about their partner’s depression. They try to get the therapist to focus on that depression and to help their partner. When asked about their own life and themselves, they minimize or deflect.
If you are a customer in counseling you are aware of the problem and are willing to take accountability. They take responsibility for your role in your marriage problems. When asked to look at yourself, you do so, even if you don’t know how to fix it.
If you aren’t a customer in counseling, don’t worry. A good marriage counselor can help you get to the place where change is possible. A marriage counselor who isn’t skilled won’t know what to do with anyone other than a customer.
Marriage and family therapists are trained to work with all types of clients in counseling. We specialize in helping couples make progress and heal.