Kevin Stevenson, LMHC, MCAP

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is an opportunity to talk confidentially with a counselor about personal concerns and to facilitate personal growth. The counselor and client work together to define and discuss personal issues and to reach mutually agreed upon goals. Individual counseling facilitates the exploration and resolution of personal problems and issues according to the needs of the individual. We will help you to define your goals and accomplish them in the shortest period of time.
Individual, short-term counseling can assist you in clarifying your concerns, assessing the effectiveness of previously attempted solutions, and generating new coping strategies. It is not uncommon to experience some amount of apprehension about first meeting with a counselor. You may be wondering what will happen, how you will react, what your therapist will be like, and whether or not the experience will be truly helpful. Most individuals report that these feelings pass with time, and that they benefit a great deal from their counseling experience. We encourage you to discuss any feelings of apprehension you may have about counseling with your counselor.
What will happen in counseling depends on the special needs and strengths of each person seeking assistance. For this reason, each counseling experience is unique, just as each individual is unique. The first one or two meetings are usually spent clarifying the problem and examining what solutions have already been attempted. This is often referred to as the assessment phase of counseling. During this time your counselor may gather information about your past, your personal style and relationship patterns, as well as your intellectual and emotional functioning. This aids the counselor in determining which counseling strategies might be most helpful for you. Once given the chance to clarify your issues, you and the counselor will be better able to formulate realistic, achievable counseling goals.There are many different approaches available to you in working toward problem resolution. Typically this phase of treatment will include learning new problem-solving or coping skills, increasing self-understanding, exploring life patterns, and gaining a better sense of how you are influenced by relationships and your surroundings. Counselors frequently focus on the individuals unique strengths and past success experiences in this phase of treatment. Working together, you and your counselor can identify and implement the most effective solutions based on your unique circumstances.
Getting The Most Out of Counseling
Define your goals. Think about what you would like to get out of counseling. It might be helpful to jot down a list of events, relationship issues, and feelings that you think are contributing to your distress. Take time before each session to consider your expectations for that session. As counseling progresses, longer-term goals may emerge along with some ideas about how to progress toward these goals. Consider how you feel about the counseling relationship. Since a good working relationship is vital to successful counseling, you will want to experience a satisfying level of trust and understanding with your counselor. Nonetheless, self-exploration and change involve hard work, and sometimes painful feelings are stirred up in the process of healing. Therefore, it may be unrealistic to expect that you will feel completely comfortable at all times with your counselor. Counselors are trained to pay close attention to these issues and will probably encourage you to discuss these feelings openly. Because counseling is a mutual enterprise, you and your counselor may also make adjustments in your working style to better meet your needs for both encouragement and support.
Be an active participant. This is your counseling process, so be as active as you wish in deciding how to use the time. Be honest with the counselor and give her or him feedback about how you see the sessions progressing.
Recognize and express feelings. The recognition, acceptance, and expression of feelings pave the way for personal growth and change. Thoughts and feelings are equally important in working through difficulties. Your counselor will work with you to integrate your thoughts and emotions in a balanced way.
Be patient with yourself. Growth takes time, effort, and patience. All of your coping skills, behavior patterns and self-perceptions have been learned and reinforced over a long period of time. Changing what has become such an integral part of yourself is very difficult and at times slow. By having patience with yourself and accepting and understanding the natural resistance we all feel toward change, you set the foundation for developing and changing in more appropriate and satisfying directions.

                             Office Hours

                            By Appointment 
                       Monday    8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
                       Tuesday    8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
                       Wednesday    8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
                       Thursday    8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
                       Friday    8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
                       Saturday    8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
                        Phone: 727-741-0704

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                   Professional Member: American Counseling Association

                  verified by Psychology Today

                     
                    Kevin Stevenson, LMHC,CAP