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Counseling Questions and Resource Information

How do I know if I need counseling?
There are several ways to determine if you need counseling.

Having an objective opinion from a professional therapist, who is trained in helping people resolve problems is a good idea.

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How can I find the right counselor for me?
Ask other people for referrals. When you look for other services you try to get some first hand information from those who have used the services.

There are national and local professional organizations that will give you referrals, such as New Life Ministries, American Association of Christian Counselors , and Focus on the Family. These organizations have very stringent criteria for therapists they refer.

A good consumer will call several counselors and talk with them. Ask about their credentials, their experience with the particular problem you are facing, their type of counseling (theories or philosophies), and any specialized training they might have in the area of your concern.

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Can my marriage/relationship be saved?
It is not the therapist's job to save the relationship. Only you can do this. I will help you try to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.
This requires:

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What about counseling for children?
If your child is showing signs that he or she is having problems, it is a good idea to bring them in for an assessment. No child is too young for an assessment. Prevention is better than repair later.

They may be acting in ways that are not typical for them, such as bed wetting, separation anxiety, aggressive behavior, or school-related behavioral problems. It is likely that your children have been trying to show you that something is wrong by acting in these ways, instead of coming right out and telling you personally.

Family crisis such as separation, divorce, and death are often difficult for children to handle on their own, and they need your help in learning how to deal with these situations.

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How do I get my child, especially teens to come to counseling?
My experience has shown that families that identify the "problem" as a family problem or concern rather than point the finger of blame on one member are more likely to get the children to cooperate with the counseling process.

Parents that are willing to consider that they might have contributed to their children's misbehavior are more likely to get beneficial results from counseling.

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How long does counseling take?
The best answer to this is the comparison to taking your car to the body shop for repairs after an accident. How much damage has been done to the vehicle?

The answer to how long will the counseling take can best be determined by a thorough assessment of the problem.

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What if my friend or spouse is addicted? Can counseling help?
An initial assessment is important in determining the extent of the problem and setting up a plan for treatment. There is often a history of alcohol or drug abuse in a person's family, sometimes going back for generations. It is difficult to break such longstanding patterns.

If the person who is addicted is willing to make a strong commitment to treatment over an extended period of time, as well as a genuine desire to change then counseling is likely to be quite beneficial.

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If the person who is addicted is not willing to come into counseling, what can I do?
You can learn new ways of interacting with the addicted person so as to not continue to support their destructive behaviors.

You can learn new ways of protecting yourself from harmful interactions with the addicted person.

You can learn ways to break the destructive or harmful patterns of the addicted family.

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Why should I go to counseling? How will it benefit me?
Everyone can benefit from counseling.
Some of the benefits are:

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How will I know I am done?
The client and the therapist work together to set up goals for counseling. When you have accomplished your goals and made the changes you wanted in your life. It is up to you to decide weather or not you have done what you wanted to do in coming to counseling.

Often, one change leads to another, and you may realize that you have changed some things without even realizing it. It is important to evaluate your progress along the way, and see if there are other areas you would like to explore.

As always, it is your decision to begin counseling and it is your decision to end it. When the time comes, you will know, and it will feel like the right thing to do.

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