It’s true. You can’t change the past. You can’t change people. And many circumstances can’t be changed. So what good can counseling do?
Though the therapist’s style, skills and agenda influence the process, it’s what You need from therapy that matters. The options are many. Think of it like a menu. Just ask for what you want. The more clearly you can articulate what you want, the likelier you are to get it. Take a look at some of the more common requests…
(Pick One Entrée and Two Sides)
I just need to vent.
Hear me and show that you understand my point of view.
Tell me whether or not I’m crazy.
Validate my thoughts and feelings.
Help me strategize my responses for this challenging situation.
Teach me to manage/overcome __________________.
I need encouragement and support.
Help me identify my choices.
I am trying to figure this out and need to talk to an impartial person.
Teach me how to accept, like and even love myself.
Tell me where I’m screwing up.
I love him, but I’m not not In Love anymore.
What can I do to get what I want?
Hold me to my commitments and help me reach my goals.
Help me ‘get a life’.
I want to stop___________.
I want to make better choices regarding___________.
Help us slow down and really hear each other.
Mediate our difficult discussion about____________.
I want one other person (who can’t tell anyone) to know.
Help me manage my anger, anxiety, sadness, compulsive behavior, work-life balance…
Tell me when I’m full of it or doing myself wrong.
I have to stop living my life for others.
Tell me where to go/who to see to get help with_____________.
Hear my secret/confession/traumatic experience.
Figure out why I think/feel/act this way.
Teach me how to forgive myself/someone else. I can’t seem to get over__________.
Support me emotionally while I grieve/parent/get through this_________/care for my dependent_____.
Show me how to recover/survive/thrive.
Help me deal with this relationship.
Help me save/improve my marriage/relationship/job.
Help us with this difficult conversation.
Is it my fault?
Therapy can have an almost infinite variety of flavors. To find yours, you can sample a website, or talk to a counselor on the phone, but you really won’t know until you try a new therapist out. Go ahead, ask for what you want. Give it a few sessions. Then decide for yourself if you have found the best person to help you with your goal, or if you need to keep looking. Once you have found the best counselor for yourself, roll up your sleeves and get to work on becoming more effective, peaceful, and happy. Life is short. Make it a good one!