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An Introduction to the Counseling Process

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By: Dr. Noah H. Kersey Ph.D.

It takes courage to admit that you have a problem.

It takes courage and wisdom to realize that you might not be able to resolve this problem without professional help.

It takes strength to pick up the phone and make the call to seek help.

After making the initial contact you begin to feel slightly better knowing that you have taken the first step of the unsure journey to resolving your personal problems.

The day of your first appointment arrives and you start having doubts. "Did I make the right decision? Am I going to be able to tell my secrets to a stranger? Can I really do this?" However, you admit to yourself that if you could resolve these life difficulties on your own, without help, that you would have already done it by now. The realization that you have to keep the appointment and take a chance with seeking professional help gives you the courage to go to your appointment.

Seeing a professional therapist to help with your personal problems is a very specific process.

Upon arrival your therapist will greet you and try to make you feel comfortable. They will ask you questions to obtain basic information about your life circumstances, what your concerns are, and what initiated your decision to come for counseling. Your therapist will also try to learn as much as possible about your background and family history. They will listen and they will get to know you well.

When your therapist begins to fully understand your situation, and knows your background and family history, he or she will make every effort to go beyond what you have shared and be "additive". They will try to help you understand more of the "cause and effect" in your relationships as well as other sources of your struggles. Consequently, you should learn more about yourself and what really causes you to hurt.

Your therapist will not only help you to understand the causes of your problems but they will assist you in learning new ways of dealing with relationships and life situations. In this sense, counseling is like a classroom learning situation. You acquire new knowledge about yourself, about relationships and about how to manage your life better.

Dr. Kersey has been providing mental health services since 1977 and provides services for individuals, couples, families as well as groups. He has a special interest in areas of co-dependent relationships, adoption issues, marital therapy, as well as stress of life issues. Dr. Kersey is a licensed psychologist and has been practicing in Indiana since 1987. You may contact him at his website:

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