Which is better – group or private counseling?
Many people find group sessions to be very liberating and conducive to the healing process, especially when dealing with specific emotions such as grief or fear. Group sessions allow you to share your feelings and experiences with others who may be dealing with similar emotions so there’s frequently a deep sense of unity among the group members. This essentially creates a larger support group, allowing you to draw on the strength of others and begin to heal. Groups mimic the personal differences found in life, and often help group participants process interactions that occur in life outside the group.
Individual counseling sessions are held with the counselor only, as in a one-on-one meeting. These sessions offer a more personal and private experience allowing you to truly open up to your counselor.
Both types of counseling sessions can be very beneficial. One may be more appropriate than the other according to your personal situation. You and your counselor will decide together what the best approach is.
Doesn’t “counseling” just mean that I can’t handle things on my own?
Absolutely not! Seeking the help of a counselor is not a sign of weakness by any means. Quite the contrary, enlisting the help of a counselor actually shows that you’re very “in control” and desire to find the best solutions possible to your problem.
A counselor’s job is not to tell you how to run your life – only you can make that choice. What we can do, however, is offer objective feedback regarding your circumstances. Your judgment can easily be influenced by your beliefs and your emotions, something that we all have to deal with on a regular basis. This can make it hard to see the solution because we’re simply “too close to the problem”. But by enlisting the help of a third-party, you get the benefit of some unbiased insight – something that can be extremely helpful when you’re dealing with debilitating emotions such as guilt and grief.
My friends tell me I don’t need counseling – just an anti-depressant.
Obviously there are times when medication can be extremely beneficial. However, it is only through talking and assessing your unique situation that this determination can be made.
The need for medication can only be determined between you and your physician. At Lifestart Counseling, we believe in a team approach. With your permission, we will be in touch with your physician and other professionals treating you with your well-being as our ultimate goal.
Even with medication, a good counselor can help you sort through feelings and thoughts that you may be struggling with.
Our goal at Lifestart Counseling is to help you deal with the adverse circumstances that are affecting your life. You can take comfort knowing that you have someone who will listen to your problems objectively whenever you need them. And don’t we all just need to “vent” from time to time?
Will my counseling sessions be confidential?
Private counseling sessions are always confidential (subject to federal and state laws).