What makes counseling conversations healing?
I believe that counseling is a genuine, authentic conversation between counselor and client, based on warmth and trust: You bring openness, honesty, and a willingness to tell the story of what’s working and not working in your life. You know your history of successes and failures, of growth and pain. You can describe your view of the world and your life philosophy. You also bring the courage to experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving.
I bring compassion, presence, active listening, and attention so I can get a full understanding of your concerns. I offer coaching and hope, and can suggest new ways of thinking about the issues or different behavioral strategies. I also have knowledge and expertise about what’s typically helpful for some kinds of problems, and I can offer interpretations about what might be driving your concerns. Throughout counseling, though, you remain the expert on your life, and any insights or ideas I have are only “right” if they make sense to you.
Through this ongoing conversation, there starts to be some “open space” around your problem—like a breath of fresh air—and in that space healing and growth can occur. You begin to feel relieved and free to move in new directions. Even after all these years as a counselor, I still find that there’s something mysterious about the power of these conversations. I know I am definitely not the curative agent—I only assist you in discovering what you need to build a more satisfying life.
Through this ongoing conversation, there starts to be some “open space” around your problem—like a breath of fresh air.
My style in counseling is kind, curious, encouraging, and sometimes challenging. If you want a therapist who primarily listens and reflects back what you’re saying, I am probably not the right fit for you. I tend to be an active participant in the conversation!
Therapy can be tough at times, and sometimes things get worse before they get better. But I believe there are moments of humor and laughter in counseling as you start to grow and get to know yourself better. Sometimes a sign of healing is that we take everything less seriously.