Professional Counseling vs. Other Types of Counseling
The primary differences between professional counseling and other types are professional counselors are bound by professional ethical standards, trained in professional education programs, licensed by accrediting bodies, and their techniques are premised on sound theoretical and research-supported principles.
Professional counseling is different from other helping activities as it is best distinguished by an emphasis on normal development, adaptation to changing life circumstances, and positive growth (Bedi & Domene, 2008).
What to Expect in Your First Counseling Session
It is completely normal to experience some nervousness and or anxiousness prior to your first counseling session. My goal is to provide a safe non-judgmental, and comfortable atmosphere for you.
The purpose of your first session is for me to gather some current and background information about you, your family, and/or your life in order to gain a better understanding of your experiences and life circumstances. This understanding allows me to build and develop a treatment plan specifically tailored to meet your needs and accomplish your goals. Some, but not all, clients are very clear on their goals and some need my assistance in this process, either way we will work together to develop your treatment plan and begin working towards positive growth and change!
If you have experienced some counseling or mental health assistance before, I believe all experiences are valuable and we can focus on new directions for growth and change and/or continue to build on positive past experiences.
If family members are to be involved in your treatment, I may meet with them as well to gather information and work to build a positive relationship for the purpose of developing your treatment plan and supporting you throughout the change process.