Q:  How can counseling help me?

A:  A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. A Professional Clinical Counselor can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life.  Counselors can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from counseling include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek counseling
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Q:  What happens in the first session?

A: Prior to your first session, we’ll ask that you complete some basic paperwork which can be be emailed, downloaded from our website or completed at our office. When we meet for the first session, it’s common that we’ll ask some questions so that we can have a better understanding of your concerns and how we can be helpful to bring about lasting change (as a physician would about a physical ailment). Once the session has ended, you and your counselor will decide whether or not to proceed with the therapeutic process.

Q: How do I choose a counselor/therapist?

A: Research has indicated that therapy is most helpful when you have a "positive therapeutic experience".  If you feel cared for understood, and trust your counselor's/therapist's abilities you are more likely to meet your goals and benefit from therapy/counseling.  As you may have noticed, many therapist/counselors advertise their services on the internet which will give you an opportunity to gather an impression of him/her before you meet.  After narrowing your search to a handful of candidates you may want to email or call to gather more information about style and experience.  Once someone stands out from the others, go forward in scheduling your first appointment.

Q: What does a Professional Clinical Counselor do?

A: “Professional counseling is the application of mental health, psychological, or human development principles through cognitive, affective, behavioral, or systemic intervention strategies that address wellness, personal growth, or career development, as well as pathology. The primary purpose of counseling is to empower the client to deal adequately with life situations, reduce stress, experience personal growth, and make well-informed, rational decisions.” (U.S. Dept. of Human Services, Mental Health, United States, 2002)

Q:  What does it mean to have a Pupil Personnel Service (PPSC) Credential in School Counseling?

A:  "PPS Credentials in School Counseling authorize individuals to provide school counseling services in grades 12 and below.   School counseling has a threefold purpose for helping students; 1) assist with personal and social development; 2) help to facilitate academic success, and 3) provide guidance related to career interests and goals through exploration and educational planning. In addition to working with students, counselors serve as consultants to families, teachers, administrators, partners in the community, and others who work with and for students." (California Commission on Teaching Credentialing)