What is individual counseling?
Individual counseling involves only two people, the counselor and the client. Sessions last from 30 minutes up to an hour. Therapy sessions involves developing ways to reach individualized goals in order to solve individualized problems. Much of the time, therapy goals are centered around decreasing a target symptom, such as, anxiety, sadness, anger, irritability, mania, aggression, hallucinations, and/or delusions. However, therapy goals can be centered around anything the client would like to work on. Counseling is about the client, not the therapist. I view people as the experts on themselves. They have the answers, but may need a little help drawing it out.
What does the counselor do?
The counselor is responsible for creating a confidential, calm environment to help the client feel safe and comfortable so they can work together to meet the clients specific, individual goals. A Counselor can act as educators, mediators, listeners, and mirrors that help provide perspective at any given point during a session. All therapist have different personalities and different backgrounds, so every therapist has a different way of interacting with their clients. Don’t let that scare you. Therapist have an intention to be helpful and compassionate to provide the assistance you need.
What are the client’s responsibilities in counseling?
The client is responsible for helping the therapist to understand thoughts, feelings and behaviors that the client has when symptoms are present. Clients are responsible for helping the therapist understand the client’s world, history and system of relationships they live in. Clients are also responsible for completing assignments, practicing newly learned skills and utilizing their time wisely so as to improve in their mental health and overall lifestyle. It is important for the client to be completely honest. For therapy to be the most effective, clients need to take these responsibilities seriously if they want to reach their goals.
What else do I need to know about counseling?
Individual counseling is always unique and individualized to the client. It is important that the client practice techniques that the counselor advises them to use. Participation is extremely important in treatment, otherwise, counseling might be less effective. The counselor is not responsible for your improvement. You are! The counselor is more of guide that gently and calmly helps you through the confusion and/or scary times of life.
Remember, a counselor does not know you like you know you. The client is always the expert in regards to their experience and life.
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Brandon Coussens, LMFT
- Address3540 Wheeler Rd., Ste. 109
Augusta, GA 30909
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