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Forest

The Heavy Boots Counseling Philosophy

How We Work to Lighten Those Boots

Mental health professionals all approach therapy from different perspectives. I have training and personal opinions that have caused me to align with certain therapeutic orientations AKA ways that I practice therapy. Getting a new counselor is pretty similar to getting new shoes: there are certain styles you might like better, you might try them on and realize that they don't fit as you hoped, or you might discover what's comfortable isn't the style you had originally planned on. That's why I want you to have an idea of the type of therapy you're getting into. Click on the links below for more information on what these terms actually mean.

What does the counseling process look like?

The counseling process is going to look a little differently for everyone, but here's an outline of the basic process:

  1. We will start with a consultation call. Let's figure out if we're a good fit to work with each other!

  2. So much paperwork. I have some intro paperwork for you to do before we meet, both so I can keep getting a better idea of who you are and so we have some of the legal bits done.

  3. Intake session! I continue being very nosey and asking lots of questions about who you are, what your experience is with mental health and treatment, what kinds of services we want to do, and all that kind of stuff. There will be more paperwork here, but mostly on my side.

  4. My hope is to get this figured out in the intake, but sometimes, it might take another session: We need to figure out what your goals are for therapy. We will check in on this treatment plan to see if it needs to be updated every 6 months, or sooner if we know we need new goals.

  5. Sessions! This is the "as seen on TV" portion (only TV counselors SUCK 90% of the time). We can sit and talk about what's going on with you, me providing tools, feedback, and whatever else we decide would be helpful. Since counseling can be really hard work, I always include fun whenever appropriate. Especially as we first get started and need to get comfortable and build up trust.

  6. Someday, we will get to a point where it is time to end. When it is time to terminate services, that doesn't have to be forever. Sometimes taking a break is important, especially because counseling is not easy. You will always be welcome back if we're still a good fit.

 

As I said, this will look a little different for everyone depending on their needs. If you have any questions or concerns, I'm always happy to discuss those.

 

Family counseling is a little different because every session will probably be a little different. I need time with family members by themselves, together as a group, and in smaller groups of certain family members. But the process will generally have the same steps as listed above.

Working with Teens

Teens: I get that you might not want your adults involved. In the state of Washington, everyone 13 and older consents to their services. That means I need to have signed releases from you to talk to your adults about anything, even scheduling an appointment. Guardians: that's something to keep in mind too- I legally cannot share more than what your teen has consented for me to share.

There are a few exceptions for when I have to talk to others, even without your permission:

  • I'm trying to make sure everyone is alive at the end of the day. I know that's hard when you have suicidal feelings. I am never interested in getting you in trouble, but I am legally required to let your adults know if you're doing things that will get you or someone else hurt or killed.

  • I am a mandatory reporter, which means I have to report any abuse/neglect (as defined by the state). I am going to tell you that I have made or will have to make a report unless I judge that it is unsafe to do so.

  • Guardians, if you're convinced your teen needs counseling but they are not interested, Washington allows you to consent for them to get assessed for behavioral health issues. If I find that your teen meets the criteria for a behavioral health diagnosis, you can consent for up to 12 sessions in the first 3 months.

Book an Appointment

All my scheduling takes place on SimplePractice. Click the link below!

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