How to get started with AK Counseling, Inc.
(1) Contact Alison by phone, text, or email to schedule an appointment. Please indicate if there are days and/or time frames that work best for you in the coming days/weeks.
(2) Fill out the paperwork below and bring it with you to your appointment.
(3) The first session is 60-90 minutes in which we will get acquainted and I can learn some background information about you, and we will discuss the reason(s) for your visit.
(4) When you get to my office help yourself to a glass of cold water or a cup of hot tea and have a seat in the waiting room. No check-in is necessary. I will come out to get you when the therapy room is ready for you.
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The idea of therapy may carry many connotations for you, so let me clarify what you can expect from your therapy experience.
The goal of the first session is for me to get to know you. This includes discussion about your concerns (i.e. why you are seeking therapy) and may also include family history, childhood, young adulthood, significant relationships you have had, etc. Typically in the initial or second session we will establish your goals (if applicable). I am also happy to help you sort out what your goals might be if you feel you need help clarifying this.
The number of sessions we have together is dependent on the topic(s) you want to address. An occupational dilemma may only require three to five sessions, whereas marital counseling may deserve six months. There are many variables that play into this, maybe most important is your will and pro-activity. You are in the driver’s seat and my role, as your co-pilot, is to help you get where you want to go. The frequency of your sessions is also variable based on the issue(s) we are addressing. Typically we meet once per week for six weeks and then reassess appropriate frequency based on your needs.
Therapy will improve your self-awareness by helping you discover patterns that keep you stuck or undermine your well-being. The goal is to empower you with ways to deal with life issues, learn your triggers, and build resiliency so you can establish well-being and maintain it post-therapy.
Click here and read testimonials from your peers who experienced profound, desired change with their depression, anxiety, relationships, sexuality, marriage, life course, etc. due to their work with AK Counseling, Inc.
Some changes you will notice…
- You feel better! Happier, calmer, at ease more often, and more hopeful about the future.
- You handle life’s ups and downs more easily and with more control over your emotions.
- You are more forgiving and accepting, even of those who may have hurt you.
- You are more connected to yourself, your emotions, those around you, and to life in general.
- You are beginning to see things differently. Your perspective on life and everything around you is changing, and you see solutions where you may have seen problems in the past.
- You are setting healthy boundaries with people in your life and building stronger relationships because of it.
- You feel stronger and able to express your own needs and desires. You don’t feel victimized by the actions of others.
- You feel in control and are making healthier choices for your thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
- You are resolving your own issues and not looking to your therapist or anyone else to fix things for you. My role is to guide you to your own best solutions.
What to expect from effective therapy…
You feel comfortable and connected with your therapist. Research shows that 60% of the efficacy of therapy lies in the relationship between the therapist and client. You should feel heard, understood, and that you can trust your therapist.
Unrealistic expectations are a hindrance. Change and insight do not happen overnight. You have decades worth of ingrained thought and behavior patterns, so allow yourself time to unravel and rewrite these patterns. Be patient with yourself as we explore your path to an enjoyable, rewarding life. As time progresses, we review your goals and redefine them as necessary.
Therapy is not like talking to a friend. Therapy allows you to form an alliance with me (a professional at helping people change) so that you don’t feel all alone in your efforts and you have a sounding board when the going gets tough. As a caring, empathetic, and skilled professional I can identify and analyze the ways in which you are stuck so that we can get you out of the negative feedback loop to enjoy yourself, your relationships, your career, etc. My clinical objectivity and unbiased frame of reference allows for balanced and effective therapeutic coaching for you.
You may not feel better after every session. Breakthroughs in therapy are exciting and meaningful while also sometimes upsetting or overwhelming. To maximize your therapeutic experience be brave. In order for you to feel better I will help you through these experiences which means the journey can sometimes be bumpy. Therapy will be effective if you crave change, possess a curiosity of your inner world, and are interested in understanding what motivates you.
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