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Laurie Sanders, Relationship Counselor

A person's "heart withers if it does not answer another heart." Pearl S. Buck

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How Can You Make the Most of Your Counseling Sessions?
May 16, 2011

If you've seen a counselor before, you probably know how to make the most of your sessions. But, you may have found that some sessions are more helpful than others. My belief is that you can get your sessions to take you along your journey more successfully if you do a few things.
First, push yourself to be a bit uncomfortable, every session. This could mean that you be more assertive than usual and share something you don't normally tell people you don't know--share a regret you have, a longing you feel, a fear that comes up for you often, that embarrasses you. TAKE A RISK. Counselors are trained to help you feel accepted by them and accepting of yourself--of where you are and who you are in the moment. We know that all feelings are temporary, and we can offer comfort if you share those feelings with us.
We can also help you to see how normal you are (not weird or freekish) for feeling as you do. And, ideally, we can give you insight about how to deal with your feelings in ways that meet your needs and help you to resolve what is bothering you.
Second, push your counselor to be the best she or he can be. This may involve taking a risk again, but you are telling your counselor how to meet your needs. So if, near the end of a session you feel disappointed, tell your counselor. If she is worth what you are paying, she will respond to you with an open mind and a willingness to change what she's doing to meet your needs. And truly, even though most of us are really smart, we can't read minds, so your guidance is helpful and appreciated :-)