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I believe there are several possible areas of focus for Hope. From how Hope has described why she has chosen to pursue counseling, I think the most important area to her would be to address her feelings of loneliness. In addition to loneliness, we could focus on her possible anxiety (“freaking out”) related to not finding a job, her apparent conflict with her step-mom (“don’t get me started on her”), and her thought of “being stuck with my parents forever”.
From what Hope has stated, I believe some of her long term goals would be to improve her current relationships and establish new ones so that she doesn’t feel lonely, get a job so she can move into her own residence – this would cause her anxiety to decrease, and improve the relationship with her step-mom. The theoretical approach I would mostly draw from is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but I would also be drawing from Insight-Oriented Therapy as well.
Hope and I would work together to establish some concrete, measurable, short-term goals to address her feelings of loneliness, job acquisition, and conflict with her stepmother.
For example, if she decided she wanted to address her feelings of loneliness, we would create a plan for her to improve the connections in her current relationships and make new meaningful interpersonal connections in her life. To do that we would agree on goals for her to accomplish, and that would be her “homework” between counseling sessions. We would then discuss how she did each week and address the possible obstacles to making meaningful connections.
We may end up exploring some of the thoughts that Hope has about herself which may make it difficult for her to connect with others. That may then lead to examining her “core beliefs” about herself and how they may be preventing her from making meaningful interpersonal connections with others. This, of course, is a core tenet of CBT in that Hope would likely develop more realistic “core beliefs” about herself leading to healthier thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
This part of CBT has a lot in common with Insight-Oriented Therapy in that I would be partnering with Hope to develop in her a combination of both intellectual knowledge and emotional understanding. This would all be done in an environment of safety, support, and acceptance. The goal here would be for Hope to integrate this process into her own internal experience so that it would last after her counseling sessions have ended. I would apply this same approach to all of Hope’s areas of focus. Hello, Hope! I’m looking forward to partnering with you as we address some of the areas in your life that you would like to see improve. I’m so glad you decided to try counseling as a way to help you with your goals. I have personally experienced how counseling has helped many people. My desire for you and belief is that you will also have that same experience.
The counseling model that I mainly use is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. I have used it with clients for over 20 years with great success. The way it works is that we will address each of the areas in your life that you would like to see improve by setting realistic, doable, goals for you to attain. After we establish the goals, we will agree on how you can work on those goals in between the times you have counseling sessions with me. All of this will be done in an environment of safety, support, consistency, encouragement, and acceptance. As we progress through your counseling, you will be able to see how you are attaining your goals. This will give you confidence and momentum to continue accomplishing everything you would like to improve. I’m so glad that you have entrusted me with helping you on this journey. I think you will be encouraged with how counseling can influence your life in a positive way. I’m looking forward to getting started with you.
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