We’ve talked before about how your time with a mental health counselor might differ from what you’ve seen in popular media. If you’re new to the idea of seeing a therapist, then we have a few things you might want to know before you step into our offices.
Pick your seat – You might expect us to say “Lie down on the couch.” While the idea of Freud’s couch has been in the public consciousness for more than a hundred years, you don’t have to pick it. If you find a couch in one of our counseling rooms, feel free choose it. But you’re equally welcome in a chair across from us.
If you sit on the couch, the idea Hollywood has given you of looking away while the therapist sleeps behind you is also inaccurate. The therapist will not fall asleep, and most people talk directly to us (though if you prefer not to look at us and feel that you can speak more freely talking to the ceiling, that’s up to you).
We might suggest some alternatives to counseling – We love the idea of talking through your problems, but you should also understand that not everything can be solved in the therapist’s office. We can work with you doctor to see if herbal therapy might be a good complement to your care. You might also consider cranial electrotherapy stimulation, a non-painful way of stimulating the brain with electric waves that is commonly used in depression treatment.
We don’t have our noses in our notes – In movies and TV, the therapists often hear something hidden in the patient’s words, nod to themselves, and take copious notes as if they’ve found the Rosetta Stone of the patient’s problems. We’ll certainly take notes, but we’re not trying to “solve” you while you sit there. Your life is not a game, and we won’t treat it that way.
Seeing a licensed professional counselor is different for everyone, and we do understand why people might come in expecting something completely different. But if you’re ready for a real experience, give Integrated Counseling and Wellness a call.