ROLE OF THE THERAPIST
All of these professionals have the s
ame overall goals - to help the client(s) sort out problem areas in his/her life, provide a safe environment in which to explore and express feelings about these areas, and develop more effective ways of working out these difficulties.
Therapists usually have their own particular approach in which they try to accomplish the above. Some may be very interactive with you, and to focus primarily on problem resolution. They may assign "homework" between sessions to reinforce more productive behaviors. Some may be less participatory in the sessions, and choose to help guide you to finding your own answers through listening and exploring how the past has affected the present. Good therapists adapt their methods to meet each individual's needs. It is important that you feel comfortable with the therapist, regardless of his/her qualifications.
You need to feel really heard and understood when you share your thoughts and feelings. Your therapist needs to respect your feelings and beliefs, and does not try to impose any of his/her own personal values on you. A therapist should not try to force you to talk about anything you are not ready to discuss, but also encourage and support you to own those thoughts and feelings that may be harder to acknowledge and address.
YOUR ROLE IN THERAPY
Understand that there are no "magic cures," and the therapist cannot "fix" the problem for you. Brief counseling can assist you in d
etermining if you need intensive therapy. Therapy requires hard work and patience. Do not get discouraged and give up. At times you may start feeling better and think everything is fine and stop therapy too soon. Talk with your therapist about how you are progressing. Be willing to challenge yourself to change the way you look at things. Be open to new ideas. Be willing to change the way you think and/or behave. Understand that the therapist, while trained in this field, does not have all the answers and is not perfect. Once the problem situation is therapeutically explored, you willbe equipped to discover your answers and to make your own choices.
Be committed to the process - Do not miss appointments unless necessary and always call to let the counselor know ahead of time. Other people may need that time slot. Both you and your therapist have the same goal for you in therapy - improved relationships, personal growth, and more satisfaction and fulfillment out of life.
Many people report that they wish they had begun counseling earlier. You do not have to struggle alone---counseling can help increase your understanding and give you tools to use to work out your particular situation and improve your life.
WHAT ARE MY SERVICES?
People generally come to counseling because they are experiencing emotional pain or wish to improve their lives in some way. I work with individuals ages12-65, coup
les and families. Some of the most common problems addressed in counseling include the following:
~~ Anxiety, from moderate stress to panic attacks
~~ Mild to moderate depression
~~ Self Esteem
~~ Improving Relationships both personal and work
~~ Coping with grief/loss
~~ Understanding family and childhood experiences
~~ Crises such as serious illness or divorce
~~ Parent/Child Relationships
~~ Anger Management
Everyone needs someone to listen and talk with sometimes. Counselors help people resolve personal and relationship concerns. Misconceptions can prevent someone from seeking counseling. The media, family and friends can perpetuate these misunderstandings. A few of these include:
"Be strong" Having doubts, sadness, anger does not imply
weakness. Denial in the guise of being strong can do
more harm. Facing your fears and concerns takes
"Don't tell your business" Your sessions with a counselor are kept
confidential. With few exceptions, your written permission
is required before your records can be released.
"Everybody will think I'm crazy" Your own thoughts may keep you
help when you need it most. Know that you
don't have to suffer in silence or alone. Help is available.
"I went once and it didn't work" Counseling involves change. It isn't
magic. Change can be swift or may take more time,
depending on the situation. Keep an open mind and be
willing to do the work. Many people, after receiving
counseling, wish they had done it sooner.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FIRST SESSION
Some people are nervous at their first session. This is normal. The first thing you are asked to do is fill out basic forms,
and read about confidentiality, your rights and responsibilities during counseling. During your first session, You can describe
why you are seeking counseling and the reasons you have chosen this time to do so. You can ask questions about the process.
The counselor will ask questions about your present situation, your family background, general health, self-care and important
relationships in your life. You decide if you are comfortable with the counselor and want to continue with additional sessions.
The counselor decides if the client's concerns are within his/her expertise or if a referral i
s necessary. If you both agree to
continue counseling, you and the counselor begin together to identifythose concerns and how to address them. This may include
homework and goal setting, as well as personal reflection and self-motivation to change.
My role as a counselor is to facilitate your mental health growth through intentional strategies designed to assist you in safely exploring your thoughts, feelings and relationships. Then, together we define your present problem situations, explore, examine and evaluate possibilities, develop future goals for an improved life and work in a systematic fashion toward realizing these personal goals.
QUESTIONS? Or to Make An Appointment, Call
Sandra Normand, MA
The Center for Therapy
1800 Buckner St., C-200
Shreveport LA 71101
Tel : 318-227-9002