My Approach to Helping
I believe everyone is different. Most people can recognize their own answers when they are either allowed to discover their own in a safe and creative environment, or when it is presented to them when they just have not thought of it themselves yet. I tend to gently challenge my clients to think about what they are saying aloud, and to analyze in a somewhat cognitive fashion, extrapolations of their thought patterns. That basically means that I ask them "What if...", questions. I point out discrepancies in what they say, and ask them what those discrepancies mean. I give feedback as to how I feel in response to what they say and how they act so they can know how others might react to their behaviors. I have a spiritual but non-denominational inquisitive nature myself, and I allow each client to look at the way they conceptualize existence, and try to help them find their own place in that belief system. As they become more aware and comfortable with themselves on a global level, they are more able to look at themselves in the relationships they are in with everyone else in their world.
More Info About My Practice
Most clients enter into counseling with hope and reluctance combined somehow. My first goal is to make everyone feel welcome, safe, and hopeful. I think my adolescent / teen age clients are most surprised that they soon discover that they actually look forward to coming in to see me. This is because I honestly open up their world for them in ways they are not used to from adult figures in their lives. My first message to parents who think they are going to drop their kids off and have me fix them is that there is nothing wrong with their kids. What is wrong is the relationship between the parent and child. Counselors are, after all, relationship doctors of sorts. What tends to happen over time, is resentments develop and cloud individual issues. Extremely rarely are any issues more important than the relationship between two people, however, too often, issues take on huge importance that seems to be more important that that relationship. The underlying reason is that we hate to sit with our feelings hurt, so we turn those hurt feelings into anger. We save that anger up and let it fly if some one leaves their shoes in the wrong place or stays out too late at night. The resentment builds on both sides and though invisible, that wall can become very thick. What is amazing that in a heart beat it can also disappear and relationships can heal.