Q: I was a client of yours and you helped me greatly but people that I know would benefit from counselling, seem afraid to call. They say that they don’t know what to expect and they do not know if counselling is right for them. Could you help me by discussing this?
A: These are common concerns. Most of us are afraid of things that are new to us. Many people are surprised when they see my office and its location. My office is a cosy, country home in a tranquil setting minutes from town. It is not in my home, but rather, is completely private and away from any other activity. Inside, is a living room, complete with fireplace and comfortable seating. It is not at all clinical or office-like. The next room is a playroom where I meet with children. It has toys, games, dollhouses, art supplies and a huge chalkboard. When I am working with children we may go outside for a walk to visit our horses or catch frogs at the pond. They learn to trust me and, therefore, talk more openly.
People who come for counselling are no different from anyone else. They are healthy people that are coping but feel that something is preventing them from being truly happy in all areas of their life. They are the same family members and friends who tell us their problems but now want to do something about them. They may want a professional and confidential, impartial third party who will not take sides. Their problem may have been with them for years or it may be something that has recently come up. Some live nearby and others come from farther away.
When coming to see me, the individual does not have to commit to a certain number of sessions. They may come as many or as few times as they like. There is no obligation. My only goal is to help them reach their goals, in whatever way I can.