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What to Expect from Therapy at HJCC

The therapeutic relationship is a unique and special relationship. Your therapist is the person you will learn to trust with your heart, needs, secrets, failures, hopes, and dreams.  Your relationship with your therapist will likely be intimate and professional with many ups, downs, laughter, and tears. We encourage you to seek the Lord on whose voice you are called to in this season of your health journey. 

Consultation:

After you have decided that you are interested in services at HJCC, your first step is to set up a free, 10-20 minute phone consultation, so that your therapist can learn more about your needs and answer any of your questions. This helps us determine if we are a good fit for you.

Simply, email your availability, phone number, and a short statement on why you are seeking counseling. The therapist will then reply with a time to expect a call. 

 Initial Assessment:

You initial appointment(1.5 hours) is designed to go over paperwork, making sure you understand your rights, responsibilities, and what to expect from your therapist.

Additionally, you should expect to:

  • Share who you are as a person, your story, and presenting concerns

  • Begin to develop a mutual rapport and sense of what it is like to work together

  • Begin to clarify your specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely therapeutic goals

  • Receive initial recommendations and feedback on the most effective way to support you

  • Begin to outline a strategic plan to grow and mature emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. 

The Therapist's Role:

  • Meet you where you are & work with you at your level of comfort

  • Journey alongside you to work toward your goals  

  • Listen to you with concern, compassion, & confidentiality  

  • Challenge you to grow beyond your present circumstances

The Client's Role:

  • Think and pray about what you want to talk about before each session

  • Be open and honest

  • Provide feedback to therapist of what is helpful and unhelpful

  • Be willing to be gently challenged with another perspective and biblical truth

  • Be ready to work hard and complete assignments in between sessions

  • Trust God in your therapy process

Subsequent Sessions: 

After your initial session, the flow of the conversation will depend on your current needs and the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is not unusual for the Holy Spirit to highlight during the opening prayer the heart of the Father for that session. There is no formula to sessions, but in general you may:

  • Examine and process your emotions, thoughts, triggers, trauma, events, and/or life story 

  • Learn and practice identifying and expressing you needs, thoughts, feelings

  • Link current triggers with emotional pain and unmet needs from childhood or previous relationships

  • Explore your ambivalence, contradictions, and double-mindedness and how to overcome them

  • Grieve and validate your trauma, unmet needs, and losses

  • Explore strengths, talents, and giftings

  • Develop emotional and interpersonal skills

  • Establish boundaries with yourself, others, and time

  • Identify barriers and pitfalls to your growth and transformation

  • Identify spiritual roots and hinderances

  • Forgiveness work with self, others, and God

  • Learn how to listen and connect with God intimately

  • Learn who you are in Christ Jesus

  • Learn how to identify and apply scripture to challenge and overcome every ungodly situation, thought, and feeling

  • Learn how to do spiritual warfare prayers and declarations

  • Explore the spiritual significance of your night time dreams and interpretations

  • Learn and practice holy habits and spiritual disciplines

  • Discuss the therapeutic relationship

  • Review homework or anything relevant from the previous session

  • Assess your progress and modify your treatment plan

  • And so much more...

The frequency of therapy is determined by you and your therapist based on your clinical needs, your availability, and financial resources. Initially, I typically recommend to start off with once per week or bi-weekly to ensure that we are developing the momentum needed to see progress.

 

The length of therapy will vary and depend on your circumstances, strengths, support, and willingness to work in the therapeutic process. As you see significant progress in achieving your goals, the frequency of sessions decreases. This also helps assess if you are able to maintain your growth independently. We tell people to prepare to commit to 3-6 months minimally. However, some people need a little less or a lot more. 

Homework: 

It is important to complete the assigned homework in between sessions. Not completing your homework between sessions is similar to going to workout at the gym but feasting on junk food in between workouts. If you are struggling to complete homework, we process the barriers together and adjust to ensure you are successful. 

Terminating Therapy:

You are ready to terminate therapy when you and your therapist have agreed that you have achieved your goals and have successfully integrated them into your life, the therapist determines you need to be referred to someone else, or you feel that the Lord has released you.

It is strongly discouraged to stop therapy because you feel better, the situation is more tolerable, or you get frustrated with the therapist or process. Each of the above are clinical issues and should be discussed with your therapist before therapy is terminated.

 

We recognize that sometimes therapy ends beyond the client's desire or control. Ideally, therapy is terminated with a final session to review what you have learned, how to maintain, what you still need to work on, and to express mutual appreciation. 

How HJCC Integrates Christianity in Sessions:

  • Views God as counselor, healer, & change agent

  • Utilizes the Bible as the foundation of counseling

  • Relies on the counsel, wisdom, & comfort of the Holy Spirit

  • Prays & seeks God's guidance as to how to address your needs

  • Demonstrates the unconditional love & grace of God

  • Prays and reads Bible passages with you, if comfortable

  • Assigns Bible passages or other spiritual resources for homework

  • Inner Healing Prayer, if requested

Therapeutic Considerations:

 

If your presenting problem appears to be resolved or you start thinking about reasons why you can't attend therapy, talk to your therapist before deciding to quit.  This could be resistance at a subconscious level to avoid addressing unresolved issues that are nearing the surface.  

It is not uncommon for clients to develop intense positive or negative attachments to their therapists.  It can be a healthy part of the therapeutic process; when discussed with your counselor, she will help you discover the root. 

Returning Clients:

After successfully terminating therapy, you are welcome to return as you continue your healing journey in different seasons of your life. It can be beneficial and comforting to work with a therapist that you trust and is familiar with your story. However, sometimes a new therapist with a fresh perspective and different skill set is the most helpful. So like with all things, seek the Lord to see if you are called to the same person in this season.

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