I recently sat down with Lisa, a licensed clinical social worker L.C.S.W., M.S.W., M.A. (a licensed counselor with two masters!) to ask why she does what she does- and what are the real benefits of counseling?
And- full disclosure- I know Lisa because I have seen her myself!!! She's great- so warm, caring, and has an awesome sense of humor that put me at ease the moment I met her. In the past, I wondered if all therapists wore monocles and distractedly took notes as you poured out your heart (and reclined from a leather couch of course!)
I was wrong. And I can't recommend counseling highly enough.
Even though Lisa is in central KY, her advice is relevant no matter where you live and there are links to places you can find a counselor that is the right fit for you. Thank you, Lisa!
Interfaith Counseling Center
Why did you become a counselor?
I struggled with depression in high school and college, but felt my faith in God should have been strong enough that I did not need any help. I understand pain and loneliness, and I wanted to help people in pain. I asked God to allow me to use this experience to help others. That's why Romans 8:28 is my favorite verse- for we know allthings (including depression and struggles) can be used for good.We all struggle in our own ways, and many times helpers/therapists are also wounded healers.
Why would someone choose to see a counselor?
Girls may share with girlfriends, their mom, or a boyfriend, but sometimes people want to talk to someone who doesn't know them or have any expectations of them. There are no preconceived notions or judgment with a therapist. Talking to someone who will listen objectively, give honest feedback, and offer a professional perspective and support are reasons to seek the guidance of a counselor.
What are my counseling options?
Check out www.goodtherapy.org for tips on how to choose a counselor. College campuses have counseling available too. It is important that the counselor is a good fit and you feel comfortable and safe. It's understandable to feel nervous the first session, but ask yourself: is the therapist easy to talk to and relatable?
What can I expect on the first appointment?
Paperwork is sometimes completed before the appointment. Then, you will meet with a therapist who will go over some guidelines so you know what to expect from your time with him or her- as well as your rights regarding confidentiality. After that, you can share what concerns you are experiencing. A plan will be discussed that includes your desired outcomes and session frequency, as well as cost if that wasn't discussed in a prior phone call or email.
What would you like to tell readers who are considering counseling?
It's understandable to feel nervous about making the call or showing up for the first appointment. Ask if the potential therapist that you are interested in would be willing to meet with you for a consultation (usually free of charge) so you can see how you feel and interact with that person.
Finally what are your favorite resources girls can check for more info and help? (Click links to purchase on Amazon)
Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend is a book that applies to everyone no matter what struggle you may be experiencing. The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques by Margaret Wehrenberg and Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns are helpful for depression. The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques by Margaret Wehrenberg and The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne are helpful for anxiety. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown is my recommendation for anyone who battles feelings of worthiness.
Any last words or encouragement?
The thought of sharing deep, personal information can seem daunting, but I encourage young ladies to reach out via email or just call a therapist to get a sense of what counseling is like- ask questions, and try at least a session or two.
How can girls contact you?
To learn more about counseling services click here.