{What to knoW}

1st Time in Therapy

or

Another

therapeutic Round

 

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When you come to Space Between Counseling, you will see:

Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC

MARTY WEISHAAR, LGPC, LGPAT, ATR-P

Noelle Benach SBCS Intern/ Pre-Licensed Professional

Brittany Spencer, SBCS Intern/ Pre-Licensed Professional

We created this page together as a sort of “therapist’s promise to you” because we’re all guided by the same values. As a team, we want to help you understand that we’re your allies, committed to your mental health and overall well-being.  

As your counselor, I’m not here to judge you.

 

In fact, I am here to quite literally do the opposite.  I am here to accept you as you are. When you walk into my office, my job is to sit with you – all of parts of you are welcome.  In this space you are enough, despite your struggles, insecurities, worries, and fears. I am on your side.


It’s okay if you can’t tell me everything in the first session.

You have a lot going on.  There are numerous events that lead you to this office in this moment.  

I understand that. We can’t sort through everything in just one session.  I’ll ask you some questions that are necessary for me to facilitate our work together, and also encourage you to tell me anything you believe I need to know. I’ll get to know you better, and even more importantly, you’ll get to know yourself better as we continue with follow-up sessions.


As your counselor, I KNOW we’re all broken in our own ways.

Despite our individuality and our unique experiences, we all have felt pain.  Trauma, pain and grief do not discriminate based on age, gender, socioeconomic class, race, or life stages.    You and I may not have had the same life experiences, but we have experienced similar emotions in different circumstances. I can understand your feelings without prior biases or assumptions about your story.  Instead, I can listen and seek understanding.


Self-care and self-love involve more than bubble baths, a glass of wine, and chocolate cake.  Self-care means you are investing time in yourself so you don’t feel the need to escape from your day-to-day life.  Therapy is one way you can care for yourself. Our work together offers you the chance to process your thoughts and emotions in a safe space without judgement. You’ll come to therapy when life is difficult, but also when you’re feeling good.  Together, we can celebrate your joys and victories and also help prepare you for future challenges.

You don’t need to hit rock bottom before you seek therapy.


While I genuinely seek to be present with you and understand you as you are, I am still going to make mistakes.  I will make assumptions. Sometimes I will have reactions. I’m going to let you down. I’m not perfect. While this may be disappointing, it can also be a source of learning and growth for the both of us.  I encourage you to let me know if you think I have misspoken.

As your counselor, I am human.

 


Committing to therapy isn’t easy.  Change and growth, while purposeful, are often difficult, painful, and confusing.  You demonstrate great bravery when you allow yourself to be vulnerable in my office. I see your willingness to be vulnerable as a sign of resilience and a marker of growth.

As your counselor, I admire your courage.

 


As your therapist, you don't need to worry about taking care of me. I know that you may not always be showing me your best side  and that’s okay. Perhaps you find yourself worrying how your pain will impact me.  Your emotions affect me as I sit with you, but I do not adopt your feelings as my own.  I work hard to maintain emotional boundaries, take care of myself, and seek help when I need it.  This enables me to be present for you.

Therapy is a two person relationship that is focused on ONE person - YOU.

 


When I say “show up” I mean both physically and emotionally.  It’s your responsibility to come to sessions, as scheduled, prepared with something to talk about.  This allows us to be purposeful with our time together. Together we will work through highly vulnerable feelings in a safe environment. Our goal is to guide you to your own best solutions. Counselors are not “rescuers” who are there to save you from the issues you are facing. Instead we help you achieve insight into your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences so that you can make the right choices for yourself and move toward a healthier emotional state.

You have one job: Show up.

 


I could not do this work without having faith in my clients and humanity in general.  There is good in every person, including you. When you walk into my office, I treat you with the respect and goodness I believe everyone deserves.

As your counselor, I see the good in you – and everyone.


We will always have more work to do because we never stop growing.  However, at some point, we will address your therapy goals and the timeframe necessary to meet these goals. Your growth might extend beyond our time in session. I see this as a beautiful part of the therapy process because, despite how wonderful or terrible  our lives may seem, there is always room for growth. Therapy may take anywhere from several sessions to several months to several years, so building a therapeutic relationship is a dynamic process that is going to look different for everyone. It will change over time as your needs change. Your process of growth and healing requires great initial attention but also ongoing care and maintenance.

In the end, growth is never complete.