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The Beginning of another Season – 2018!

The beginning of 2018 marks for us another season in which we are hoping to continue to walk with pastors and churches in education and training, providing resources for family development, and individual and group counselling/psychotherapy.

 

Soma’s mission is to bring healing into faith communities, by partnering with and equipping churches to administer Jesus-centered counselling to Vancouver’s South Main district.

We desire to see individuals and families thrive in their own communities. Too often, counselling and healing have been seen as processes that take place separated and isolated from authentic communities.  We desire to see healing happen with communities.

Counselling.  Community.  Change. 
We would like to make ourselves available to meet with each ministry leader/pastor in our community.  Please simply email us at info@somacounselling.com to arrange for a time of consultation, support and collaboration.  We are looking forward to hearing the needs of the local congregations and what we may be able to do to walk with and support you in your ministry as 2018 approaches.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come

Merry Christmas, friends of Soma!

I don’t know about you, but it has not been an easy journey of advent 2016!  Waiting has been hard. Especially when I paused, and paid closer attention to my emotions, my actions and my thinkings. At the end of each day, I was reminded of me of my deep need for Jesus.

Christmas can be a difficult time for many – the big social gatherings, the pressures to buy and to give, the anxieties of having to please others, and the list goes on.

Today, I was reminded of a prayer from Henri Nouwen that I wanted to share with you all. This prayer challenged me not to run away from the brokenness that I often feel during the season – but instead, to embrace the feelings…

“O Lord, how hard it is to accept your way. You come to me as a small, powerless child born away from home. You live for me as a stranger in your own land. You die for me as a criminal outside the walls of the city, rejected by your own people, misunderstood by your friends, and feeling abandoned by your God.

As I…celebrate your birth, I am trying to feel loved, accepted, and at home in this world, and I am trying to overcome the feelings of alienation and separation which continue to assail me. But I wonder now if my deep sense of homelessness does not bring me closer to you than my occasional feelings of belonging.

Where do I truly celebrate your birth: in a cozy home or in an unfamiliar house, among welcoming friends or among unknown strangers, with feelings of well-being or with feelings of loneliness?

I do not have to run away from those experiences that are closest to yours. Just as you do not belong to this world, so I do not belong to this world. Every time I feel this way I have an occasion to be grateful and to embrace you better and taste more fully your joy and peace.

Come, Lord Jesus, and be with me where I feel poorest. I trust that this is the place where you will find your manger and bring your light. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Amen.”  (Nouwen, H. (1988). The Road To Daybreak. New York, New York: Double Day).

My prayer for us is that when we sense a feeling of homelessness this next week, that we would recognize the feeling and bring it to our Father in humility.

Christmas songs, worship services, nice presents, dinner after dinner, beautifully written cards…No matter what our Christmas is like, may our sense of homelessness only bring us closer to our true Home.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

A Gift for Your Family: An Evening of Family Workshops

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For many people, Christmas is an overwhelming season of decorating, partying, and gifting.  The season is usually announced with bright lights, loud music, and impressive events.

The season of Advent (from the Latin word “adventus”, meaning “coming”) is the time of preparation for Christ’s arrival as a small, vulnerable baby.  Our God, the Creator of our Universe, chose to come to us on a silent night, in meekness.

Every year, it begins on the Sunday closest to the last day in November.  This year, it will begin on November 27th.

As the day draws closer, make a decision to do something different!  Instead of turning to the ‘noise’ of this season that so often creates stress and anxiety – slow down, be still, listen and clear room in our minds and hearts for Jesus.

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How are you and your family preparing for Advent?

As a resource for your ministry, we invite you to join us for an evening of family workshops on December 9th, hosted at Immanuel Baptist Church in South Vancouver.

Our hope is that this evening will be a gift to you and your family.

If interested, please contact Grace Voo, Clinic Director at grace@somacounselling.com or register through info@somacounselling.com

 

A Gift for Your Family:  An Evening of Family Workshops

Soma Counselling and Family Resources is proud to present an evening during advent with Mrs. Grace Voo, RCC, CCC (Secrets of the Teenage Brain [Condensed Version]) and Dr. Edward Ng, RCC (Loving Couples, Loving Stories).  These well-received seminars blend principles of Christ-centered discipleship, current psychological research and practical strategies to help your family and relationships thrive in the new year ahead. The seminars will be simultaneously presented, but will be repeated and attendees will have time to attend both in one evening.

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For:  Parents (of children of all ages), couples, pastors, Sunday School teachers, and ministry leaders who are looking for new approaches to the age-old question of “how do we do this?”

Date:  Friday, Dec 9th, 2016

Time:  7:30-9:30pm

Location:  Immanuel Baptist Church, 109 East 40th Avenue, Vancouver

Cost:  Suggested donation of $20 per couple, $15 per individual (collected at the door)

(Receipts for Extended Health provided upon request)

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Soma’s mission is to bring healing into faith communities, by partnering with and equipping churches to administer Jesus-centered healing. 

Soma Low RES

Surviving Church

 

I see all kinds of runners on Sunday mornings, people who maybe have had a childhood of showing up for Sunday School with scrubbed faces and slicked hair. People who maybe have drifted far away from what they thought was their faith, and so perhaps reason that it wasn’t their faith after all but only a pale facsimile of their parents’ guilt-ridden compulsion. And yet they often come back from their long runs, quietly sliding into the pews hoping for something like meeting Jesus but also hoping for nothing like not to be noticed or greeted. I often think that we all sense that there is meaning somewhere in the mix, a message of love and belonging that shushes the hollow tones that resonate inside you of you are alone, you are alone, you are alone. I often wonder if people like me are making it easier for them to meet Jesus, or are we just getting in the way with all our bells and whistles?

As a lifelong churchgoer, I have difficulty with the majority of Sunday morning church services I have attended. I am troubled by the non-participatory music. I am bothered by the practical advice that often stands in for a sermon. I long for more than a handshake and a smile from others. Yet out of all of these, what worries me the most is that too many of us, like thespians of ancient Greece, don brightly painted comic masks while we inside, we rot. These kinds of people are the ones who sing perfect harmony in the choir and then go home and beat their spouses. These are the kinds of people who hold out one hand of welcome but sharpen their daggers with the other, waiting for another back to stab.

It is a miracle that some of us survive a childhood in church. This is not because the church is any worse than any other organization, but because we are taught several times per week that following Christ—which most of us profess we do when we call ourselves “Christian”—leads to some kind of deep personal transformation and continued growth. And if that happens, we are told that the world around us also becomes renewed as God works with us in redeeming all aspects of it. It’s a grand vision that belongs to an all-consuming story, but all too often, life with other sinners wounds us almost to the point of no return. The lingering question that many of us have is that if following Christ is transformative, why does it seem not to make a difference to many people in power?

I often work with people with these kinds of stories. For some, it was not that being churched-up was altogether awful, it was just that what was presented as the Christian life was uninspiring and insipid.

The goal of psychotherapy for people with these kinds of stories isn’t necessarily that they make a grand return to the passionate faith of their youth. That, I think, is the work of pastors and concerned friends.  Even then, should one should return to one’s faith of their youth?  What might be even better is a mature faith that doesn’t instantly burst into flame like a wad of shredded newspaper, but maybe one that burns slowly and intensely like a charcoal fire. Most of all, what is needed for people to return to faith at all is the work of the Holy Spirit, who sometimes rushes like a wind and at other times whispers in a voice so small that you wonder whether you heard rightly at all.

People who have walked away from their faith will have reasons for coming to psychotherapy that vary according to the person’s goals for themselves. This may not include going back to church. For many, to go back to a church is to be slapped in the face with flashbacks of past traumatic relationships, betrayal of trusts, and outright abuse. In many cases, going back to the church in which people have grown up would be nothing short of calamitous.

I enjoy working with people who have a complicated faith. This is because there, in that wrestling, I see the seeds of genuineness. Authenticity may be a generational buzzword, but I think it is something that all people desire: to be, as far as they can, simply themselves.

Yet you cannot be a self you do not have, and being a self requires peacemaking with the traditions in which you grew up. It is not as though you need to go back the way you came, but in order to “move on”—as so many of my clients say they want to do—it is good to recognize the places you have come from and how they continue to guide the way you feel, think, and even act. Rejecting these traditions, even if they are only empty, means rejecting a part of your self-story. And when a piece of your story is missing, it becomes that much more difficult to compose a coherent narrative of how you came to be and where you hope you are going. What I hope for with every client I meet is that they begin to have a sense of “wholeness” in themselves that comes from learning to accept all that is within them.

As a Christian, what gives me the kind of hope that someone could possibly be at peace with all their inner parts? That they need not turn away in disgust from the things they think to be repugnant and unlovable? Only that if I take God at his word, we are seen with a profound gaze and still deeply and wholly loved, even when we have nothing but contempt for the parts of ourselves we wish we could lose.

Does Spiritual Direction Help?

The first time I heard about spiritual direction was through Dr. Susan Phillips at Regent College. “God is the true director…Therefore we are servants of the holy, listeners with the job of being attentive to God, with and for the sake of another.  Both director and directee listen for the One who promises, ‘Call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you” (Phillips, S., 2008).

I like the way David Benner (2002) describes spiritual direction as a prayer process, because director and directee meet together in the presence of God. “I understand prayer as attunement and response to God’s presence…Conversation becomes prayer when both the director and the directee are aware that they are in God’s presence” (Benner, D., p.94).

 

What are some differences between Christian Counselling and Spiritual Direction?

Often, Soma clients ask about the difference between Christian counselling and Spiritual direction.

In short, spiritual direction is spirit-centered – helping people find the direction that the Holy Spirit is moving in the moment. A classic question during a session is “Where is God in the midst of this experience?”.  Here, discernment is based on the intimate engagement of two people walking into the sanctuary of God. Research shows that for spiritual direction to be effective, it presumes some degree of psychological wellness in one’s life (Barry, W. & Connolly, W., 2009).

Christian counselling on the other hand, facilitates a person’s growth to greater personal integration and freedom of choice through self-awareness and a renewed understanding of God’s healing grace.  When people go to counselling, it is often because they want something to be different in their lives. They may want to solve a particular problem, make a decision, or better understand their lives or themselves. Together with the counsellor, the client can explore feelings, concerns and the changes that they want to make.

Christian counsellors can focus on a client’s life experience (past and present), events, thoughts, relationships, feelings, especially areas of pain, family of origin; all these seen in light of God’s calling. Counsellors can be found using a variety of counselling techniques such as self-disclosure, immediacy, empathetic listening, observation, clarification, interpretation, and reflection on God’s love and forgiveness.

Spiritual directors tend to use more questions, clarifications, and reflection on patterns of prayer and on the creative, redeeming, and sanctifying action of God. In spiritual direction, God is the agent of healing and spiritual directors help point clients toward Christ-likeness.

Who, then, should seek spiritual direction?

1) Anyone who desires to deepen his or her relationship with God should consider seeking spiritual direction. It is perhaps more beneficial to those who have been on the faith journey for a while. “Spiritual direction is the contemplative practice of helping [Christians] to awaken to the mystery called God in all of life, and to respond to that discovery in a growing relationship of freedom and commitment” (Keegan, J., 2011, p.3).

2) Christian leaders who are susceptible to the dangers of isolation and loneliness should consider spiritual direction. Spiritual direction can offer space for reflection, unmasking, and accountability. “In spiritual direction, the director helps [Christian leaders] notice God in the most ordinary life circumstances, and provides an environment where spiritual healing can take place” (Fryling, A., 2009, p.20).

In conclusion, Spiritual Direction:

  • Meets a real and deep need to share the Christian journey with a trained individual who can help reflect back God’s particular and personal work of love in our lives
  • Is the coming together of heart knowledge and head knowledge which helps develop and nurture our personal relationship with God
  • Upholds an important truth about the Christian faith – that our faith is a shared faith, not a solitary one…to become aware of what God is doing so that we can all respond to it and participate and take delight in it (Peterson, E., 1993).

 

My life’s journey is too difficult to experience on my own.

Through crisis and life’s challenges, my Christian counsellor has grounded me and helped me explore areas of trauma and pain.  I have a greater degree of self-awareness and understanding of myself and others.  As a result, I feel better about myself and who God has created me to be. Counselling helps.

Through conversation and prayer, my spiritual director has cared for my ‘soul’ and has helped me to pay closer attention to what God is doing in my life.  She has taught me how to better hear God’s voice in my life over other voices, and heightened my awareness of God and his grace for me.  Spiritual direction helps.

Having personally experienced counselling and spiritual direction, I have found both helpful and vital for different parts of my Christian journey.   I would not be who I am today without one or the other.

 

References and Further Readings:

Barry, William & Connolly, William. The Practice of Spiritual Direction. HarperCollins, 2009.

Benner, David.  Sacred Companions:  The Gift of Spiritual Direction and Friendship. Downers Grove, IVP, 2002.

Fryling, Alice. Seeking God Together. Downer’s Grove: IL, IVP, 2009.

Guenther, Margaret. Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction. Boston: Cowley Publications, 1992.

Keegan, James. What Is Spiritual Direction? Listen: A Seeker’s Resource For Spiritual Direction, 2011, Vol 5, Issue 4.

Peterson, Eugene. The Contemplative Pastor. Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans, 1993.

Phillips, Susan. Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Directors International, 2008.

Does Talk Change Anything?

In short, yes.

For a much longer and more thorough answer, keep reading.

First, there is a presumption that talking to a friend or family member is the same thing as talking to a therapist. Yet what a therapist offers their clients is very different from the interactions between friends or family. Therapists often pride themselves on “not giving advice” but instead offer reflections and interpretations that help clients open new areas for self-exploration, understanding, and emotional regulation. It is true that talking with friends and family who are very other-focused can also be helpful, but the main difference between a trained therapist and a concerned friend is that training helps therapists maintain a special and confidential relationship where clients can express hidden emotions and topics that they feel are taboo. In other words, you can talk about anything and anyone with a therapist.

Second, there are a number of different models of healing. One of the most dominant models in our age is the Medical Model, which has its basis in the idea that everything is biologically determined. You may have encountered this in the idea that mental health issues are solely a matter of “chemical imbalances” or that “certain genes predict the development” of one disorder or another. According to this model, the first line of treatment for any disorder would be one targeted at a person’s physiological functioning: medication. Several studies have shown that brain activity changes with medication (e.g., Martin, 2001), which likely correlates with changes in brain function and overall improvement in mental health.

However, the same effects are seen in studies that have compared psychotherapy with medication (e.g., Karlsson, 2011), with relapse rates even lower for patients who undergo psychotherapy (Hollon, 2005). These findings contradict the idea that your biological predispositions are fixed and that complex phenomena like mental health difficulties are predetermined by your genetics and “chemical imbalances.”

If you’re wondering whether you should seek medical help or psychotherapy, the answer is “it depends.” Medication is very helpful for people experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties. But for many years, the “industry standard” of mental health treatment is medication and psychotherapy. It would seem that talk, especially in the context of a therapeutic relationship, is not an idle thing. Talking can change a great many things, not the least of which are our thoughts, emotions, perspectives, and relationships. It is an essential part of the healing process.

 

 

References

Hollon, S. D., Jarrett, R. B., Nierenberg, A. A., Thase, M. E., Trivedi, M., Rush, A. J. . (2005). Psychotherapy and medication in the treatment of adult and geriatric depression: Which monotherapy or combined treatment? Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66, 455-468.

Karlsson, Hasse. (2011). How psychotherapy changes the brain.   Retrieved March 10th, 2016, from http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/psychotherapy/how-psychotherapy-changes-brain

Martin, S.D., Martin E., Rai S.S., Richardson M.A., Royall R. (2001). Brain blood flow changes in depressed patients treated with interpersonal psychotherapy or venlafaxine hydrochoride: preliminary findings. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58(7), 641-648.

 

 

 

A Gathering on Mental Health Needs of Churches

Grace Voo & Edward Ng have teamed up to launch a new private counselling practice in South Vancouver. The mission of this new practice is to partner with churches by promoting mental health awareness and by providing counselling skills training through psycho-educational workshops. They also provide individual and family counselling services.

The beginning of 2016 marks for us a new journey for Soma Counselling & Family Resources.
The beginning of 2016 marks a new journey for Soma Counselling and Family Resources.

Clinic director and registered clinical counsellor, Grace Voo, explains how Soma is unique in the community: “Too often, counselling and healing have been seen as processes that take place separated and isolated from communities.”  With over 15 years of field experience in the school system, church, and counselling in other community-based agencies, Grace sees patients struggling to transition out of therapy because a patient’s community often is unaware of their healing journey. “Soma desires to meet the needs of local congregations by supporting, training & equipping ministry and lay leaders. Our desire is to see healing happen within communities.”

Grace Voo, Clinic Director speaks at the launch.
Clinic Director, Grace Voo, speaks at the launch at Christ City Church.

“Soma is a response to the mental health needs of places where people gather, first in the church, but also in schools and workplaces and the home” says Edward Ng. As a pastor and psychotherapist, he adds: “Soma was born out of the observation that… churches are places of intense and intimate contact between people, they also could become places of care and strong relationships.”

Director of Counselling Services, Edward Ng, leads a discussion on psychotherapy and pastors.
Director of Counselling Services, Edward Ng, leads a discussion on psychotherapy and pastors.
Local pastors and ministry leaders gather on February 20, 2016.
Local pastors and ministry leaders gather on February 20, 2016.

Their first event, the Gathering on Mental Health Needs of Churches attracted over 30 pastors, ministry leaders, spiritual directors, and friends. It was evident that the church communities gathered desired to work towards minimizing the stigma and shame that is often associated with mental illness. A ministry leader stated, “Our church is not a safe place…we need to build trust as communities…”

Local pastors gather and connect at the Soma launch.
Pastors connecting at the Soma launch.
Pastors and ministry leaders were able to share the mental health needs of their congregations.
Pastors and ministry leaders share the mental health needs of their congregations.

Building trust is the life long journey that every disciple of Christ must learn to walk. Soma’s commitment is to walk with churches and pastors to provide education and training, to provide resources for family development, and to provide individual and group counselling opportunities.

Soma believes in partnering with and equipping churches to administer Jesus-centered counselling.
Pastors and Ministry leaders share about their own journeys in ministry.
Pastors engaged in a pictorial depiction of their ministry journey.
Pastors engage in drawing a pictorial depiction of their own ministry journey.
Pastors listened attentively to each other's real life stories and experiences.
Pastors listen attentively to each other’s real life stories and experiences.
Soma believes in partnering with and equipping churches to administer Jesus-centered counselling.
Soma believes in partnering with and equipping churches to administer Jesus-centered counselling.

Their services encompass many areas for individual development (such as trauma counselling, career & vocational discernment, stress and anxiety management, and personal and relational conflicts), youth and children counselling (evidence-based interventions that supports youths when dealing with anger & depression, bullying & self-esteem struggles, fears & anxieties, self harm & suicidal ideation, social & academic challenges), and family counselling services (such as parental & family stress support, grief support, gifted children support, special learning needs support).

 Soma’s mission is to bring healing into faith communities.
Soma’s mission is to bring healing into faith communities.

Their website, www.somacounselling.com, is now live and includes local BC/Vancouver mental health resources and has a calendar of events/workshops that will be held throughout the year.

In celebration of the launch, Soma is offering free 30-minute individual consultations as well as free workshops for church communities (subject to availability) from now till December 2016. Contact Soma at info@somacounselling.com for more information.

 

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Soma is grateful to Christ City Church and Pastor Jake (Christ City Church), Samuel Voo, Wenny Ng, Michelle Kar, and Sarah Smith for their support in the launch event.

 

 

Photo credits:  Michelle Kar & Wenny Ng

 

Soma Launch

Years ago, my friend Ed and I were idly talking about how God has been leading us in similar directions and how He has given us the compassion and gifting of working alongside pastors and church/ministry leaders in supporting families with mental health needs.  We both share a strong conviction that the process of healing through counselling can feel lonely and that, in fact, it need not be so.  We believe that healing with community can happen but only with intentional and purposeful efforts.

For him it meant leaving his work as an associate pastor at Faith Community Christian church in Vancouver for a second stint of grad school in at Fuller Theological Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology. And for me, it meant pursuing a second Master’s degree in Counselling from UBC while working as Vice Principal and Counsellor at Carver Christian School in Burnaby.

Personally, I began this journey slowly and cautiously.  It was not easy to discern a shift in vocational while I was in mid-career.  As a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a school administrator, a counsellor and a disciple of Christ, I was challenged to live a more integrated life.

It was because of this journey, I learned that God calls ordinary people like me to trust him.  As I trust in Him, he blessed me so I might be a blessing to others. God promises to be with us in our failures and our faithfulness.  He continues to work through us to redeem this broken world.

Recently, we are feeling the timing of God’s call to move forward as a team to work with churches in the Vancouver area and supporting mental health needs in the community.  What is exciting is that the vision that we discussed now seems to be in actual physical development.  Providentially, I was connected with a previous student who worked with us to help brand, design, and create Soma Counselling and Family Resources.  The research completed gave us confidence that we were on the right path. We hear God’s heart and love for the people, for the churches and for the city of Vancouver.

The beginning of 2016 marks for us a new journey in which we are hoping to walk with pastors and churches in education and training, providing resources for family development, and individual and group counselling/psychotherapy.

 

Soma’s mission is to bring healing into faith communities, by partnering with and equipping churches to administer Jesus-centered counselling to Vancouver’s South Main district.

We desire to see individuals and families thrive in their own communities. Too often, counselling and healing have been seen as processes that take place separated and isolated from authentic communities.  We desire to see healing happen with communities.

Counselling.  Community.  Change. 
We are looking forward to what God has in store for us as we meet with a group of local pastors at our launch on February 20, 2016.  We are looking forward to hearing the needs of the local congregations and what we may be able to do to walk with and support you in your ministry.
Date:     Feb 20, 2016
Time:    930-1130am
Place:    Christ City Church
               (5887 Prince Edward St., Vancouver, BC– near Main and 41st)

What Kind of Psychotherapy Do I Need?

At some point in your life, you’ve decided or you’ve been convinced that you need therapy.  Not physiotherapy, not occupational therapy, not massage therapy, but therapy for your psyche—your soul, your life, your self. 

First of all, congratulations!  You’ve made it past one of the most difficult decision points in going to see a counsellor.  Yet now that you’ve decided that you might need some help, you may find that you’re not sure what kind of help you need.  As you scan websites and leaf through seemingly random recommendations, you’re probably wondering “who can I trust?” and “what is the difference between all these therapies?”

The answer is: it depends.  It depends on the kinds of difficulties you’re having and it depends on what your goals may be.  It depends on what kind of person you are and it depends on what expectations you have of what a counsellor should do or how they should behave.  What follows are some brief descriptions of the major “umbrellas” under which most psychotherapies will fall. 

The “gold standard” of psychotherapy for the last 30 years or so is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).  This kind of therapy focuses on people as thinking-feeling-acting beings and can be very effective for people who are struggling with burdensome symptoms and need some immediate relief.  It utilizes action plans, journals, and homework and is usually very focused on finding solutions for the difficulty at hand.  It is often called the “gold standard” because it is the kind of therapy that is easiest to standardize across counselors to ensure a standard level of delivery.  That is, if you visit a therapist who uses CBT a great deal, you’re more likely to get a similar experience from one person to the next.  For this reason, and for the fact that CBT has by far the most empirical research done on its effectiveness, medical doctors and other medical practitioners tend to ask their patients to seek CBT.

Another kind of psychotherapy is psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapy.  This is the kind of counselling that most people envision when they seek help because of the way its founders had their clients lay down on sofas and talk about their sex lives or mothers.  Although some of these elements remain the same, most clients don’t lay down on couches facing away from the counsellor. The particular concerns of counsellors who employ a psychodynamic perspective are significant life events, relationships, family, and the achievement of insight that can help you understand yourself and other people in a new way.

Yet another umbrella of therapies are known as “humanistic” therapy.  The concerns of psychoanalytic and humanistic therapies actually are very close together, but humanistic therapy generally values client direction, client strengths, and is intensely focused on the client’s experience of the therapeutic relationship as a whole.  All (good) counsellors will employ some form of humanistic therapy when they relate to their clients in a warm, caring, and respectful manner.  The ultimate goal of purely humanistic therapy is to help clients grow by helping them access internal resources they already possess. 

Although there are hundreds of kinds of different therapies with each therapist likely putting their own spin on it, what is most important is that you feel that you can “work” with the therapist on the difficulty you’re having.  If after a few sessions, you feel that you and your counsellor aren’t a good fit for each other, it may be worth your time to speak to that therapist about how therapy is going.  And if things don’t get better, it may be time to seek a new counsellor.  Hopefully, what you’ve learned from reading this will help you.  And even though it may be a frustrating process to find a suitable therapist for you, the benefits will be enormous.