What Should I Expect?
If I am seeing you for the first time, I suggest that you put together a brief overview of the specific challenges you are facing, as well as an overview of what you hope to accomplish in your session. This gives you an opportunity to organize your thoughts and articulate your experience. It also helps set the tone for the session, and gives both you and me a place to start.
When our session begins, I will welcome you and invite you to settle into a comfortable spot. Most clients are at least a little nervous at first, and like you, don’t know what to expect. The first thing I’ll ask is if you have any questions for me, or anything specific you want to address during this session. Most first-time clients will have a few questions about how we will be proceeding. I’ll tell you a bit about my approach, and confirm that you are willing to give it a try.
By the end of the Q&A, most clients have relaxed enough that we can move on to the actual session. We’ll start by reviewing your summary. This is usually enough to get a really good conversation going. We’ll talk about what is important to you, what you’re challenged by, and what your goals are. We’ll look at what you are or aren’t doing to either change your experience, or maintain it. We’ll consider what you may or may not believe about yourself, your circumstances, or other factors. We’ll identify any beliefs, habits, behaviours, etc. that may need to be adjusted in order to maximize your satisfaction and success. We’ll examine potential approaches to implementing changes you identify as desirable, and you will go home with the task of exploring them. We’ll try different approaches to shifting your energy and perspectives, depending on what you need most, in any given session. This may not all happen in one session, but it does all happen eventually, as we evolve in our process. I’ll often recommend resources such as articles, books, videos, other experts, etc. for you to read, watch or investigate, and I will always ask you to reflect on what you’ve learned, so you can bring your insights to the next session. There is other homework too, but that is specific to each particular session & the place you are in at the time.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are as many approaches to Counselling & Healing as there are therapists in practice. Find the person, and the approach that work for you. Even if you connect with me right away, you may find that as you progress, you eventually outgrow our relationship. If/when this happens, talk about it with me, and we’ll celebrate! You should definitely consider this a success. On the other hand, if you don’t connect with me, or if my specific approach doesn’t resonate with you, keep looking until you find one that does. There is no harm in shopping around, and in the end, you will benefit far more from taking the time to find the right therapist, than from enduring a relationship with the wrong one.
You should always feel validated, accepted and supported. Keep in mind though, that this doesn’t mean I will always agree with you, or that I won’t call attention to problem areas. I will however, offer my evaluation or alternate view, without making you feel diminished in the process. Counselling & Healing should be at least a little bit fun. It should also be interesting, thought-provoking, meaningful, insightful, challenging, and empowering. You may have the odd session that is particularly difficult, or upsetting, but for the most part, you should leave your sessions feeling like there are more possibilities ahead now, than there were when you arrived.
If you’re anything like me, one of the things that frustrates you most is being told that this way is the way, and if you are not making progress or finding solutions – there is something wrong with you. My job is to help you discover the tools that work for you in the creation of your new reality; to help you see yourself clearly; to illuminate pathways that allow you to find your own way; to inspire you to approach challenges from a new perspective; and to empower you to move through life with freedom, and courage, and wisdom, and joy. Where your evolution and healing is concerned, what you need to know is this:
The Body, Mind, and Spirit are not separate from one another. All of the memories, thoughts, behaviours, emotions & programs that are part of your story are stored in your MIND, and your BODY, and your SPIRIT. Healing has to occur on all levels of consciousness. When we enact change in only one area, our “stuff” often remains stuck in the others. In order to heal completely, and to make lasting change in your life – you’ve got to clean the entire house, so to speak!
Since you’re exploring this site, you already know that I come to every session with a diverse and effective toolbox, chalk full of Body, Mind & Spirit tools to help you get to where you want to be. Each and every integrated session is an evolution of multiple modalities & practices. We can try anything that inspires you, and pass on the things that don’t. The process is alive and organic like you – moving and changing moment to moment – responding to your energy, awareness & insights at every step. Of course, if you see or encounter something that really moves you, we can focus on any singular approach or modality for as long as you like! Part of the magic in this is that when we hit a spot where you are really “stuck” ( which for most of us is inevitable), instead of trying to break in through the front door using the same approaches you’ve already tried, we can get in through the side door, or an open window, or a hole in the roof. If what we’re doing isn’t working, we can shift gears, so to speak – head in a new direction that might surprise you enough to break through! The other part is that when we find something that really works for you, we can stay with it, and even combine it with other approaches.
Given the right tools, the right guidance, the right encouragement, the right amount of time, and the right opportunities for our particular understanding – each and every one of us is capable of lasting change, profound healing, inspired evolution and growth.