Q: When should I look for a counselor? A: Speaking with an impartial professional who is trained in facilitating communication can be helpful in many situations.
For individuals: - experiencing difficulty in their workplace, - struggling with a personal issue,- seeking greater clarity or motivation in setting or achieving personal goals, - in conflict with another person.
For couples: - experiencing friction in their relationship - seeking to develop more positive communication
For families: - going through cross-generational conflict - adjusting to changes such as separation, divorce, new life partner, or blending
Q: What type of counseling is offered? A: In general, there are many counseling styles available these days to assist clients with their individual concerns. They vary in underlying philosophy (nature vs. nurture, meaning belief in importance of inborn characteristics vs. importance of influence of environment), focus (for example, seeking clues on how to resolve the client's problem by examining childhood events or by examining current events), length of time over which counseling takes place (for example: some types take years, some take months, some weeks or even days), etc.
The common thread is that the main therapy element is talk. Counselors provide a confidential, non-judgemental environment for clients to explore ways to address personal and/or interpersonal challenges in their life. This safe space helps to gain perspective, evaluate possible courses of action, and identify next steps to take for moving forward.
The type of counseling Monica practices is Solution Focus Brief Therapy.
Q: What is Solution Focus Brief Therapy? A: Solution Focus Brief Therapy evolved out of the following observations: - The majority of people who seek help with a personal or interpersonal difficulty attend counseling only for a short time. It makes sense to use session time to identify the next,immediate steps that may bring relief.
- No problem is at full intensity all the time. Even the most chronic difficulty alternates between more and less intense phases. It makes sense to identify those moments and catalysts that help reduce the intensity of the problem, and concentrate on how to strengthen them,
- No professional can have as complete knowledge of a person's life than that person him/herself. It makes sense to think of every individual as an expert on his or her own life.
- Every person has a unique mix of inner strengths and resources, meaning a solution that works for one person may not fit another. The decision on what is a realistic, workable solution for each unique situation needs tocome from the person her/herself.
- Focusing on what led to a problem tends to lead to even greater focus on the problem, making it difficult for the person to move forward. Focusing on what led to success in moving beyond the problem or decreasing its intensity, on the other hand, tends to be a strategy for success that helps the person move forward. Pinpointing the actions and thoughts that resulted in improvement leads to more awareness of one's strengths and resources, which increases confidence in dealing with the difficulty. This creates a cycle of hope and positive thought through awareness of small but significant successes.
Q: How long does solution focus brief therapy take? A: Typically, individual clients choose to attend for 4-6 sessions. Some report a sense of forward movement following their first meeting, and choose to conclude after the first or second session. Couples may attend longer.Ultimately, the length of the process depends on the circumstances of each individual and the number of issues they wish to discuss, and is left to the client's discretion.
Q. How do I choose a solution focus counsellor ? A. Profesionals who practice Solution Focus Brief Therapy come from different professional and educational backgrounds. What unifies them is the training they go through to acquire and apply Solution Focus techniques. Because of the variety of backgrounds, there are likewise many personal styles among professionsals who practice SF techniques.
Monica offers initial consultation, free of charge. This can help you develop a sense of her approach, so you can make a decision on whether to go ahead.