How can I know if I need counseling?
If you are thinking about whether counseling could be helpful to you, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you ever feel really sad, frustrated, blue or lonely?
- Do you feel especially angry, agitated, annoyed, or that spinning out-of-control feeling?
- Do you feel anxious, worried, or guilty?
- Do you experienced some major problems at home, at work, at school, or in your neighborhood?
- Have you noticed changes in the way you sleep, eat, think, or feel about life?
- Is it difficult for you to talk about your feelings with family or friends?
- Is your life being negatively affected by the way you are feeling?
- Is your personal life, your work and/or your relationships with family and friends more difficult than you think it should be?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then it may be a good idea for you to talk with a counselor (also known as a therapist or mental health counselor).
People go to counseling for many reasons. Counseling can help you better understand your temperament and problems, and help you learn how to more effectively manage them in your everyday life. Counseling takes place in a completely confidential setting. Confidential means that the counselor cannot tell anyone, not even your close family members, about what the two of you talk about together, except as allowed by state and/or federal law. These exceptions generally include if you are a danger to yourself or others, instances of abuse or neglect, or if a minor as defined by state law.
Can a “faith based counselor” be a professional?
Yes…the therapeutic counseling models that are used are professional in nature and completely Word (Bible) based. For over 15 years we have seen these Biblical Principals work where nothing else would. From anger management, stress reduction therapy, and everything in between the counselors at The Penewit Center are committed Christians and integrate Biblical truths in their counseling.
What types of training do your counselors have?
Our counselors are licensed counselors by The National Christian Counselors Association, The National Board of Christian Clinical Therapists and The Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling. The National Christian Counselors Association (N.C.C.A.) is a non-profit, professional organization that trains, certifies, and licenses Christian counselors. The Association includes ministers, Christian counselors, testing specialists, medical doctors, attorneys, and educators. The National Christian Counselors Association includes many Board Certification Specialties such as;
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Child & Adolescent Therapy
- Crisis & Abuse Therapy
- Domestic Violence & Intervention Therapy
Your therapists are experts in the field of addictions, especially pornography and sexual addictions. There are other board certification specialties as well.
What will happen during my first session?
When you meet with a counselor, you will do what we call “intake” where we gather information that is vital to helping you. There are forms to fill out and a few questions that you will answer. It is easy and takes one session.
At this point, the counselor will welcome you, explain the procedures related to counseling (scheduling appointments, payment structure, etc), and also review confidentiality rules. You will answer questions about your current life and recent stressors. You will also answer some questions about your health, your relationships and your family. In addition to getting acquainted with you, the purpose of this meeting is to help your counselor better understand your personal and psychological needs related to your well-being and stress levels.
Your second session is called your “discovery session”
After the paperwork is done you will speak with your therapist. You will be able to talk about anything that is on your mind. This is called your “discovery session” Your therapist will listen to you as you tell them what ever is on your heart. Your therapist may ask you some questions based on how the session is going. This will be an easy session where you will be able tell your therapist what the pains and sorrows are.
Your third session is your “interpretation session”
Your counselor will interpret your temperament profile to you. This will show you what your “inborn” temperament is and how this affects you. You will learn about strength and weaknesses and how to approach them in ways that will relieve stress in your life.
What happens after my “interpretation session”?
The last phase of therapy is called “termination.” These sessions may continue for weeks, months or even longer if you feel the need. You will learn how to communicte with mates, children or others based on your temperament. Most people continue to see their therapists monthly to help further their lifes goals. This is when you choose to seek some additional support and guidance from your counselor in the process of your life’s goals.
What should I expect from counseling?
When you decide to start talking with a counselor, you should expect to meet with one person who will get to know you well. Most counselors understand that it takes time to get used to someone before you will feel like talking about the more serious things on your mind. It’s hard to tell at the first session if you feel comfortable enough with your counselor to talk about things that are important to you. Building a relationship and trusting takes time. Thus, try to give yourself and your counselor a chance to get to know each other. If you still don’t feel comfortable talking with your counselor after a few visits, you may consider choosing a different counselor. Since you will be talking about sensitive issues, you need to have a counselor with whom you feel safe and comfortable.
How long will counseling last?
The type of help that you are offered by your counselor will depend on
(1) the type of personal concerns that you have (duration and severity),
(2) what you tell your counselor (openness and cooperation), and
(3) the kind of relationship you have with him/her (trust). Some people are helped after only a few sessions (called “short-term treatment” that may last for only a few months), while others may need and prefer longer treatment (“long-term treatment” that may last from several months to a few years). If necessary and with your permission, family members may attend some of the counseling sessions to provide extra support and to help improve the family relationships.
Counseling lasts various lengths of time for different people. Your counselor will try to work with you to decide how counseling sessions will best fit into your life. Sometimes you might choose to meet with your counselor more often (two or more days per week) or less often as you and your counselor decide what is best for you. You can continue meeting with your counselor for as long as you feel that you need. This could be one week, six weeks, six months, or even longer.
What else can I do?
In addition to going to individual counseling, there are many activities you can do on your own to help work through difficult feelings and solve problems. You might try writing down your feelings in a journal or diary as this will greatly assist your therapist. Try getting involved in an activity that you are good at such as a sport, drama, music, or hobbies such as writing, reading, needlework, etc.