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Why Get Counseling?

Why Should I seek counseling?

  • If you have never seen a therapist for counseling, you may wonder what is involved and how it might help you.
  • If you are struggling with unhappiness, fears and anxiety that you are not able to conquer on your own, counseling by a professional psychotherapist could help you significantly.
  • If your close relationships are causing you pain, or if you are still angry about past events, you could be helped by professional counseling.
  • If you are wondering why you are here, or what the purpose of your life is, you could benefit by a professional therapist’s help.

Why not just get support from friends and family?

You may wonder if you can get the same support from your close friends and or your family. If you have close friends who are supportive, that is a wonderful thing. Our close friends understand us and our history. The drawback is that our friends also have their own perspective and their loyalties to us. This prevents them from being objective. Most of our friends also have their own, busy lives and have limited time to devote to us. The same applies to our family members, and in addition, our relationships with our families are much more fraught with tensions, conflicts and mixed loyalties. Most people are prone to gossip, and your friends and family members may not be able to keep confidential the things you share with them.

In contrast, a therapist is trained to be objective, supportive and how to assess best how to assist you to realize your goals. He or she has years of experience in studying and practicing therapy before they can be licensed to provide therapy to help you with your own unique problems. Legally, a professional therapist is not permitted to share any information about you or even reveal that you are receiving treatment without your express permission. The only exceptions are; if in the therapist’s trained consideration, you are an imminent danger to yourself or others; or if the therapist learns of abuse of children or vulnerable elders who may be presently in danger. This does not mean you cannot share your fears of suicide, or feelings you have towards others that worry you. The role of the therapist is to explore your feelings and help you cope and protect yourself and others. The legal requirements to involve other professionals are to prevent hurt to yourself or others.

What is a marriage & family therapist?

A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) has a Master’s degree or Counseling Psychology and is trained in many different methods of helping people. After obtaining their Master's degree in Psychology, therapists are required to complete an internship before becoming eligible to take the licensing exams required by the State of California Board of Behavioral Sciences. The internship consists of 3000 hours counseling clients under the supervision of a licensed therapist, who has an additional certification to supervise interns.  The internship cannot be completed in less than two years after earning a Master’s degree. A license for a Marriage and Family Therapist is not granted until these and other requirements are complete.