Counseling 101 with Carly Koller
What is counseling? Is it for me? Do I need it? What if I can’t find the right counselor? Can I afford it? Do I have the time to spend on counseling? What will we talk about in counseling? What if I feel embarrassed? These are all questions that can come up when considering can counseling. So, let me tell you a little bit about what counseling is and how one might go about starting their journey of healing and growth.
Let me start by telling you a little bit about me. My name is Carly Koller and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. Counselor and therapist can be used interchangeably. I have been practicing for six years while spending most of those years in a private practice setting. I branched out on my own in 2018 and opened up my own practice called Art of Introspection Counseling and have been very pleased with it! I have an extensive background in grief counseling. Most of the work I do is with females ages 14-40. We tackle topics such as grief, depression, anxiety, relationship struggles, overall life satisfaction, and through all of it, growth and development. I have a husband and two sons who are my whole world! Helping others has always been a passion of mine and I am grateful to be able to make it my career!
So, a little bit about counseling. I believe counseling can be beneficial for most people. It can provide a safe space to talk about things you might otherwise feel uncomfortable talking about. It can be a place to gain new perspective and learn new tools that can help change and transform your life. It is so important to take care of ourselves in order to be the best version of ourselves. Counseling can be a huge piece of that self-care. When you decide it’s time to begin your counseling journey, there are several ways to find the right counselor for you. You can do an internet search, get a list of providers from your insurance company, or if you feel comfortable, ask around for recommendations. How well you connect with a counselor is by far the most important piece. The therapeutic relationship is the foundation to your counseling journey and needs to be strong. I feel that without it, good work in therapy will be harder to achieve. Another important piece to a successful counseling journey is honesty. Being honest with yourself and with your counselor will allow for the best possible course of treatment and results.
Now you have found a counselor and you are ready to begin your journey! You may be wondering what’s next. The first session will most likely be gathering background information and discussing what brings you in for counseling. It is during this initial session that you want to listen to what your gut is telling you about how well you are or are not meshing with the counselor. If for some reason you do not vibe with that counselor, try another one (there are plenty of us out there) and do not let it discourage you. Plans will then be made for when you will come back for your next session. During the beginning sessions, goals will be established for things you would like to achieve throughout your counseling journey. Maybe you want to change a behavior, decrease a certain feeling, increase something, heal from a trauma or a loss, work through relationship struggles and so on and so forth. Homework might be given in order to help you work towards those goals and apply what you discuss in your sessions to your everyday life. I always encourage journaling for homework because I feel that it is one of the easiest forms of self-care and a way of releasing things that do not need to be kept in. Your journals can also be looked back on to show you the growth you have made. Counselors practice many different modalities of treatment, but there is one that is very widely used called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. It is so commonly used because it can help with so many different struggles that a person might be facing. The general idea is that the way we think affects the way we feel which in turn affects our behavior. So, the idea is to work on changing the way we think in order to help us feel better and produce different behaviors. I use CBT with all of my clients at some point in their counseling journey.
If you are reading this and still wondering if you ought to begin your counseling journey or not, I am here to tell you to BEGIN! It may feel uncomfortable at first and things may feel worse before they feel better, but I do not think that you will regret taking this step towards your own well being. The line I use with my clients is, “you have to feel it to heal it.” You have so much to gain by embarking on this journey for yourself!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope that it is helpful. I am happy to be of any further help that you might need and can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-809-8306 :-)
sending you well wishes!