An Introduction to Counseling

The Big Brown Chair: A tool of the trade.

The Big Brown Chair: A tool of the trade.

You might have found me because the need for help is urgent.

Perhaps you are at a fork in the road. Your life up until now hasn’t turned out the way you planned. Worries have settled in. You may even be close to despair over a certain situation involving yourself or a loved one. Perhaps your own behavior or that of someone you know is mysterious and bewildering, and you’d like to gain some perspective on what it all means.

Or maybe you’re here because you want someone else to change?

I view therapy as a way of discussing and exploring your life experiences with someone in an atmosphere of safety, care and support. Feelings such as anger and sadness can find a place for expression. Healing is possible when we are able to set aside a lot of our own stuff and simply listen to another person when they tell us their story. What is often damaged in relationship must also be healed in relationship.

We don’t run off to caves to heal on our own -- although I know licking your wounds in isolation is tempting.

I also see therapy as a place to challenge those beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors that may be getting in the way of having good relationships with others. This is a place for compassionate -- and yet -- rigorous accountability.

As children we learn from our parents, families, teachers, and other influential figures how we’re expected to live in the world. There are those things we learn – love, trust, honesty, and forgiveness – that are life-giving lessons. But sometimes we pick up ways to cope – things I call “survival skills”—that later develop into destructive ways of being with others. These survival skills may have kept you safe as a child, but now they’re serving to drive others away whether you mean to or not.

Many families with generations of trauma or substance abuse have unspoken rules about how to behave, especially if it means not upsetting anyone or making anyone uncomfortable. Don’t trust. Don’t feel. Don’t talk. The world is a dangerous place. People get what they deserve. You made your bed, now lie in it.

Some of these beliefs may be holding you back. Now may be the time to take a look at them.

So what do I mean by accountability?

As we explore your feelings and experiences without the weight of judgment, I’ll ask you to take ownership of all that you say and do. Ownership of all your decisions and choices. This is what integrity looks like. No more blaming and shaming of yourself or others. More curiosity. Less judgment. While you can’t control how others react to you, you can control how you choose to respond.

Lasting change is possible. Change doesn’t require insight as much as it demands courage.

Are you ready to get out of your own way?