30 minute Consultation
This meeting gives you an opportunity to come in, meet me, find out more about my approach to counselling, and ensure a good fit between you and I. It's an opportunity for you to ask me questions about counselling process. Some of the questions that I am usually asked at our consultation are the following:
Your first counseling session might feel like the first day of school - you feel anxious, excited, fearful, hopeful, sad, happy... a whole range of emotions. In this session clients often discuss issues, feelings, and thoughts that brought them to counselling. I often help clients identify their counselling goals.
Second session often begins with a brief review of the first session and further clarification of your counselling goals and we begin exploring how to reach these goals. We explore what we need to do in the session and what you need to do outside of the sessions for achieving your counselling goals.
We begin each session with a focus on your progress. We also discuss important issues and roadblocks, as identified by you. We will regularly discuss your progress and talk about what is working for you in counselling and what does not seem to work.
Your counselling process is complete when you feel that the concerns that brought you to conselling have been addressed and resolved. However, you might have many other reasons for terminating counselling and I always honour and support your decision. I believe that you know best!
Trauma happens when we do not have enough resources to cope with physical, emotional, cognitive or spiritual stress. Spirituality is your relationship with something that is greater then yourself, you can call it God, the Universe, Divine, Nature. This relationship with Something Greater Then Yourself is present regardless your religious practices. You can be Jewish or Muslim, you can practice Christianity, Buddhism, or Nature Based Traditions like Wicca or Shamanism and you will have a relationship with something greater then yourself. This relationship can be loving, neglectful, varying, or full of fear. Whatever this relationship is it is often changed by trauma.
My baby is learning to crawl. Watching her struggle is a lot like watching people moving through emotional pain. There is a pull in my stomach, a physiological response, an impulse to jump in and help, make the struggle go away. I take a deep breath and offer her space, my compassion and presence. I watch her struggle as I breathe deeply and I witness her mastering the movement and succeeding. Just like with people moving through emotional suffering, the impulse to jump in and save is there, but so is the breath. I breathe as I choose to offer my presence instead of rescue. And in this space magic happens. In this space people find passage through suffering, and as they move through the threshold they step out of pain and into their power.
This is a beautiful video and what I got out of it is the following:
Eight years ago in my Masters Program I read a book that spoke about Counsellor Centered Therapy. In the margins of the book, I made a note “This is ridiculous and so arrogant. What about Carl Rogers and client centered therapy every one in counselling community talks about?” I finished the book because it was assigned reading, but I did not understand or liked the messages in it and we did not spend much time discussing this idea in class. Today I am reconsidering the idea of being a Counsellor Centered Therapist. Very radical! I know. And its petrifying to to admit, but today I am daring greatly and following Brene Brown's wisdom, "Don't shrink. Don't puff. Just stand your sacred ground."
Take a look at bios of a few therapists and you will find that the majority of these bios mention client or person centered approach to counselling. Client centered therapy is a flavor of today's therapy and counselling world. Given this predominant way of approaching healing, throughout my program I was taught to focus on the client, to enter the client’s world and help client make psychological adjustments to the world and resolve incongruences between reality and client’s perceptions. I will say (wit a lot of humbleness) that I am very good at being empathetic and I effortlessly enter client's world completely. I have been praised for this skills by supervisors and peers. But with more and more experience I found that when I entered client’s world completely and forgot about my own center, leaving my power, my experiences, my gifts and strength outside of the counselling relationship I got stuck with the client in their world of pain and misery and although client felt understood and genuinely cared for, we both sat in a muck of depression, anxiety, and grief unable to move to a more stable ground.
Today I see myself as a much more helpful therapist because over the past 5 years I spent a lot of time taking a very close look at myself and devoted time and effirt into becoming more cognizant of my own healing process, my own gifts and power, as well as the responsibility in the use of this power. I realized that I bring this self into my office every single day. This self is present every single moment of my sessions with people who come to heal. And it’s that self, not the tools that I use, that is integral in people’s healing.
Over the past nine months I have been a part of the integrative wellness center where I work in collaboration with Shiatsu Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Nutritionists and Naturopaths helping people heal physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And I have learned so much from each one of these therapists. I saw that they pay equal respect to the needs of the client and their own intuition and the tools they use. Their treatments focus on clients, but the therapists do not leave integral parts of themselves outside of their treatment rooms, they bring their selves in, offering client their healing presence. I see these professionals offering their clients a center from which they guide a treatment process. And I am revisiting the idea of Therapist Centered Therapy (Counsellor Centered Therapy) where the therapist is centered and offers a stable, quiet center from which a client can gain strength, reclaim their power, and find the healing within.
More thought on this to come.