I believe counseling is a collaborative process where clients sort out their thoughts and feelings in order to get a better understanding of who they are. Counseling is completely different from person to person. One client may want more advice or suggestions. Another might want mostly to vent and to be heard. Still others may need to be challenged or confronted. In general, though, most therapists believe that counseling helps us understand thoughts and feelings about ourselves that we have not previously fully recognized. Sigmund Freud referred to this process as making that which is unconscious conscious. I trust that clients know deep down what should be talked about in therapy and that they mostly need help knowing how to access these thoughts and feelings in order to realize what it is they want and need from others and their lives.
My approach is eclectic or integrative, but I use many psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches in my work. I am open to sharing my personal thoughts and experiences as a way of helping others. I find that it often helps patients to know that their therapist is a human being too and much can be learned from the relationship of therapy. Many clients come to a therapist’s office because they are struggling in their relationships. Paying attention to how your relationship develops in the office can help you understand how the really important social interactions in your life outside of the therapeutic relationship actually work.