What is Counseling?
Counseling is a collaborative process in which a unique, confidential helping relationship is developed between a counselor and a willing client. In this relationship, the professional counselor acts as a facilitator to help the client to understand more accurately him/herself and the world around him/her. The counselor and client explore the client’s feelings and behaviors, relationships with others, choices and decisions, as well as the client’s current situation.
Why do people seek counseling?
We seek out counseling for many different reasons. Some of the most common concerns include:
- Low self-confidence
- Finding, helping, or losing a relationship
- Puzzling or distressing emotional states
- Self-defeating behaviors
- Alcohol and drug use
- Family concerns (conflict, divorce, pressure, etc)
- Getting better grades
- Eating disorders
- Decision making
- Sexual assault
- Sexual orientation or gender identity issues
- Life planning and development
A person with any of the above issues or some other troubling situations is encouraged to contact Holistic Counseling Services to set up an appointment.
What happens during a counseling session?
During the first meeting with a counselor, you will be asked to describe your concerns and what you hope to gain from counseling. This first session is an opportunity for you and the counselor to communicate and build a rapport. After the assessment period is concluded, you will set goals pertaining to the issues presented to work on with the counselor. The number of sessions that a client meets with a counselor depends on the issues he or she is addressing, the severity of the issues, and on the coping mechanisms. All of this will be discussed early on in counseling, so that the client has a clear understanding of what their commitment and responsibility is in the counseling relationship. Sessions last approximately 60 minutes.
What about confidentiality?
Holistic Counseling Services carefully guards your confidentiality. Counselors respect their client’s right to privacy and avoid unwarranted disclosures of confidential information. No information about you or your appointments, including the issues discussed, will be released unless you give specific, written consent.
There are, however, situations where counselors are mandated by law to report certain cases to local authorities or emergency services. In these cases, confidentiality will be breached without the consent of the client. These instances are:
- When there is clear and imminent danger to self or others.
- Suspected or reported physical or sexual abuse to self or others in the case of a minor (under age 18 — mandated reporting) or elder abuse.
- Suspected or reported physical or sexual abuse to a disabled or elderly individual with severe impairment.
At these times, the counselor will inform the client of such a breach of confidentiality. If you have any questions regarding our services or confidentiality, please feel free to call us at (856) 318-1581.
What are my responsibilities in counseling?
Because we know that resolving issues requires your commitment, we ask that you keep all of the appointments you schedule. If it is not possible for you to keep an appointment, please call to cancel, preferably 24 hours in advance of your appointment. Someone else may be able to use that time. Your most important responsibility is to take the steps necessary to keep yourself healthy. Taking the first step to seek services may be difficult for you, but it may change your life in a most positive way!
Individual, short-term counseling can assist you in clarifying your concerns, assessing the effectiveness of previously attempted solutions, and generating new coping strategies. Most clients experience some amount of apprehension about first meeting with a counselor. You may be wondering what will happen, how you will react, what your therapist will be like, and whether or not the experience will be truly helpful. Most clients report that these feelings pass with time, and that they benefit a great deal from their counseling experience. We encourage you to discuss any feelings of apprehension you may have about counseling with your counselor.
What occurs in marriage counseling?
A counselor will work with couples to identify the barriers that keep them from experiencing a thriving marriage. It’s never too late! Rekindling the love in your marriage and making it work is possible. Take the first steps toward a better relationship today!
Those who are experiencing relationship and communication problems can meet with a therapist for the purpose of improving their marriage or relationship. Holistic Counseling takes a holistic approach in making the primary focus of the therapy on the relationship, rather than solely on the individuals in the marriage. HCS offers adjunctive Marriage or Couples Counseling to supplement one’s individual or family therapy.
When undergoing Marriage Counseling it may seem that your “relationship” is the “client” as you, your partner, and your therapist work together to determine what your goals are within your relationship. The therapist will also be on the lookout for other feelings or experiences that are being “brought into” the relationship. You, your partner, and your therapist will look at patterns that show up between you, as well as other internal and external experiences that impact the relationship. With that in mind, those patterns are likely to show up in your sessions, just as they do outside of it. When they do, your therapist may also encourage you to explore them as they occur, “in the now,” in order to support you in adopting more helpful patterns, roles, and ways of communicating.
Marriage Counseling is often held one time a week. But, depending on whether you are also doing any adjunctive healing work, such as individual or group therapy, the sessions may be more or less often, depending on your therapy goals. Marriage Counseling is offered through both programs and with a wide variety of settings including individual and group.
What occurs in Child therapy?
Holistic Counseling has emerged in its modern form to provide valuable and practical services for improving the quality of life and experience at home, in school, and in social situations. The therapists provide services in a play room at the center to help bring relief to children and their loved ones.
Play therapy is offered to children as it tends to be their natural form of communication. Play Therapy is a natural avenue for children to express their thoughts and feelings. When a child goes through a traumatic experience they often need help to process those events in a healthy way. Child Play Therapy helps children to release their fears and anxieties.
With a keen understanding of physical, mental, and behavioral development, our counselors are able to gain insight on issues that children and adolescents experience. These may include difficulty staying attentive and engaged with schoolwork, experiencing thoughts and feelings of depression or another mental health concern. The licensed counselors are skilled not only in the specific disciplines they practice but also in the application of these disciplines to the particular needs and exceptional aspects of a child, enabling them to relate to youths and act as meaningful partners in recovery and personal development.
The parents/guardians will meet with the therapist for the first session without the presence of the child to discuss reasons for bringing the child to treatment and to develop goals. They are then welcome to participate in information sessions throughout the treatment to discuss concerns or goals related to the child’s progress.
Adolescents struggle in various areas of life. The beginning of therapy is making a connection with the adolescent to let them know they have a non-judgmental ear. The adolescent will participate in developing goals for their treatment which may address issues in self-esteem, struggling to communicate their thoughts, problems at school or at home, drug and or alcohol issues, thoughts of self-harm, depression, bipolar and anxiety.
What occurs in Family Counseling?
Families are approached from a structural and systems approach perspective. Each member of the family is given an integral role in developing a healthier and happier family lifestyle. There will be no blame placed on any family member.
Families of all sizes and backgrounds are bound to encounter the occasional argument and household difficulty, though some incidents can be more destructive or challenging than others. From concerns about alcohol and substance abuse and other dangerous behaviors to issues in communication and beyond, families sometimes struggle to maintain harmony and emotional health within their relationships.
Holistic Counseling Services can help uncover, analyze, and address specific concerns. Whether involving young children or siblings, or incorporating extended family members, family counseling often offers families a way to discuss their thoughts and feelings in an unbiased and safe environment, encouraging the fostering of stronger family bonds and deeper mutual understanding. Parents or other household members who have concerns should contact HCS or fill out the online referral. (link to referral page)
Meeting with the counselor for an initial session to outline the desires for the treatment and the concerns that have brought the family to counseling can go a long way towards establishing a positive relationship and can help the family make a more confident decision about choosing an appropriate professional. Our counselors are held to high standards of academic and clinical experience, and have backgrounds in child development and related fields that can aid in the understanding of behaviors and interactions within family groups.