Welcome to Holistic Counseling Care of Cincinnati! To familiarize you with the counseling process as we understand it, we have jointly developed the following description. Although this has been written in the first person (as if your counselor was directly addressing you), this statement reflects the collective ideas of all of the associates in our practice. We hope that this brief description of the nature of counseling will serve to help you benefit maximally from our counseling service. We strongly believe that it is in your best interest to know as much as possible about our beliefs concerning the process of counseling. . . .
Purpose: The purpose of counseling is to provide you with the opportunity to explore a variety of concerns and to begin to make a variety of changes in order to improve your life. Counseling, therefore, will focus on you and on aspects of your experience that are of concern to you. Any area of concern to you is appropriate for exploration during counseling: self-esteem, social relationships, family, career, school, substance abuse, sexuality, spirituality, finances, or any other concern.
Responsibilities: Both counselor and client have certain responsibilities during counseling. As a client, your initial responsibility is to be as open and honest as possible in discussing your concerns. The more you allow yourself to address all aspects of a troubling area, the more beneficial the counseling sessions will be. In addition to openness, you will also be expected (at a later point in counseling) to make direct efforts to begin to accomplish changes in your behavior and in your life. These expected changes will hopefully move you in the direction of the growth that you desire.
Although I, as your counselor, might wish that I could "magically" change your life for you, I am only able to help you identify the kinds of changes you want/need to make and to aide you in generating methods to implement your desired changes. You will need to make efforts, a little bit at a time, to accomplish your goals. In addition to helping you identify these small steps to change, I will make every effort to listen carefully to what you say to me. I will be listening both for the content of what you say and for the feelings behind that content. I will certainly try to communicate to you what I have been able to understand of both the content of what you've said and of the emotions behind that content.
Focus: Initial counseling sessions will almost inevitably deal with a wide variety of concerns, hassles, and worries. At some point later on in counseling, however, we will focus our sessions on one or two primary concerns. This is necessary in that it is very difficult to accomplish changes in many areas of one's life all at one time. Focusing on one or two concerns will allow us to maximize our effectiveness in helping you achieve desired changes.
Limitations of Counseling: There are several limitations to the counseling relationship that I should mention.
Confidentiality: Whatever is discussed during counseling is solely between you and me. Although I may discuss aspects of your situation with one of my professional colleagues, I would do this only within the context of a professional, supervisory relationship which would assure you of maintained confidentiality. Beyond such a professional discussion (for my benefit in an attempt to be more helpful to you), I will not discuss the content of our sessions with anyone without your direct permission.
The sole exceptions to confidentiality would occur: (a) during a clear and present threat to your safety or to the safety of someone else or (b) under a direct Court order for me to release information.
Audio Recording: Occasionally, for my own purposes or for purposes of supervisory consultation, I will want to make an audio recording of one of our counseling sessions. Whenever this should occur, I will, of course, inform you and ask your permission to make the recording. Any such recording can be of direct value to me as a source of additional information that may prove helpful in aiding you through our counseling. Such tapes are not retained beyond the time it would take for me to review them. The audiotapes, also, are definitely treated with confidentiality.
Voluntariness: Counseling is a voluntary process. Since you cannot be required to talk openly about your concerns, you will not be forced to be a client. You may decide to discontinue counseling at any time. I will honor this decision and yet ask that you arrange a termination session when you leave counseling. This would help both of us in achieving a clear closure to our work.
Time limits: Each individual or couples counseling session will be no more than 50 minutes in length unless otherwise negotiated. Group counseling meetings are often set for one and a half to two hours. Although there is no maximum number of counseling sessions, I feel it is appropriate to discuss the likely continuation of counseling on a periodic basis. Thus, if you choose to continue counseling following our initial contract, we will periodically review our agreement and progress, assessing benefits of continued work. Return to Holistic Counseling Care of Cincinnati's main webpage.