1. We care about our clients. Each and every one of you.
There are ethical boundaries (which are there for good reasons) that prevent us from showing you we care in the same way your friends might, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care. We don’t exchange gifts, emails, or texts. We can’t go up and hug you if we see you in public, or for that matter even acknowledge you (unless you acknowledge us first). We can’t send you a birthday card, or Christmas card, but we do care, and we don’t forget you. This just means that when we do think of you we hope that you’re doing well, and possibly say a prayer for you.
2. You are not going to hurt our feelings.
Please be honest with us. We will not be upset if you decide you no longer need counseling, that it’s not working for you right now, or even that we aren’t the right therapist for you. You may feel that contradicts #1, the fact that we care about you. But as mentioned before, we care about you as a client, not a friend. We want what’s best for you and if it’s not counseling, that’s ok. It’s always bitter sweet when it’s time to terminate. Yes, it’s sad we don’t get to see you on a regular basis, but more than that we are happy to see that you have grown and healed. We are happy that you are strong enough to recognize you might need something different for the time being.
3. We are as frustrated with your insurance as you are.
For me at least, money is the worst part of the job. If I could counsel for free I would. Insurance can be extremely frustrating! We know it’s a hassle; it’s a hassle for us too! For us it can be very frustrating knowing that not only are you dealing with whatever it is that you are coming to counseling for, but you have to deal with insurance on top of that. Please know that we try to make it as easy for you as possible.
4. We don’t judge you.
Our job is to listen, not judge, and to earn your trust by keeping things confidential. We have “heard it all”, well pretty much anyway. We know everyone is unique with a different story, but no matter what, we won’t judge you.
5. We often get the question “How long will it take?”
We want you to know that the length and outcome of your counseling is largely up to you. I have told many people that I believe the healthiest people are often in counseling the longest. Why is that? Because healthy people want to be healthier. For example, a man might come in because he is grieving the loss of his mother. Then he realizes his grief has affected his marriage and takes time to work on the marriage. Then he begins to be concerned with helping his children’s grief and he begins to work through parenting a child who is grieving. Each person is different and each issue is unique. You are the one who determines how many issues you bring to the table, how hard you work outside of session, and how honest you are inside of session.
No, it’s not like it is on TV. And we don’t expect you to lay down on the couch.
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