• What are some of the reasons people go to psychological counseling?

    Many people seek psychological counseling for help in dealing with such major life events as changes in employment, break-up of a relationship, serious health issues or an accident, dealing with mid-life crisis and aging concerns.   Others may need help managing mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or addiction

  • How do I know when it's time to seek psychological counseling?

    Taking the first step to seek professional counseling is often the most difficult.  One indication that it is time to set up an appointment with a professional counselor is that you experience such significant distress in your life that it impacts your everyday functioning, whether at work, home or school. Perhaps you have difficulty concentrating or you’ve lost your enthusiasm and drive for getting things done. Maybe you avoid interacting with your coworkers and friends or just feel generally overwhelmed, and nothing you do seems to have helped.

    Another indication that it’s time to seek help is when your coping skills begin to fail you. For example, you might begin overusing or abusing something – or someone – in an effort to alleviate your symptoms.  Perhaps people who are closest to you in your life have noticed changes and said something to you, or coworkers may have made some attempt to let you know they think you may need someone to talk to.

  • Why talk to a stranger about my personal feelings?

    Psychological counselors are non-judgmental and objective listeners, which makes it easier for them to help you.  While seeking advice from friends and family members who know you well may seem easier and more comfortable, their counsel is often colored by biases and preconceptions.

  • Won’t it be difficult, awkward or embarrassing to talk to a psychological counselor who doesn’t know me?

    In the beginning, you might feel a little anxious or self-conscious.  But psychological counselors expect and understand this and try to help by creating a safe, accepting environment where you will feel comfortable sharing your feelings.  As you develop a trusting relationship with each other, you’ll find it much easier to be relaxed and open.

  • What are some of the benefits of psychological counseling?

    Psychological counseling can help you overcome the struggles you are facing and discover a happier, more joyful life.  Psychological counseling provides the expertise to help you navigate challenging situations, create fresh coping techniques and develop new perspectives and insights that improve relationships with the people in your life.

  • What are some common misconceptions about psychological counseling?

    Far from being a sign of weakness, working with a professional counselor indicates a healthy desire to improve your life and become a better problem-solver. And while talking to family members or friends can be essential to health, it is not a substitute for psychological counseling. Professional counselors have years of specialized education, training and experience that make them experts in understanding and treating complex problems, with tools and techniques developed over decades of research.

    Some people avoid professional counseling out of concern whether other people, such as their employers, will find out. In actuality, professional counseling provides a confidential setting in which you can be completely honest.

  • What should I expect from psychological counseling?

    The number and frequency of your appointments will depend on your individual situation. At the first appointment, the professional counselor typically will gather information about you and your needs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions anytime during your appointment to make sure you understand what type of therapeutic approach will be used and the goals of your treatment. While you may be asked to fill out forms about your current and past physical and emotional health, it may take a few appointments to fully convey your situation and concerns and to determine the best approach or course of action going forward. These initial appointments are also an opportunity for you to interview your professional counselor to see if his or her approach and personality are going to work for you.

  • How long and how often are counseling sessions?

    Sessions typically run 45-60 minutes.  The frequency and duration of your counseling sessions will depend on your needs, condition and progress toward achieving the goals that you set with the help of your counselor.  This is a good subject to discuss during your first session.