Dear future client,
There’s a stigma in our society that one doesn’t need to see a therapist until there’s an overwhelming reason to do so–like a tragic accident, infidelity, or hitting rock bottom with an addiction. Seeking therapy isn’t easy, but it could be one of the best decisions you ever make. Have you ever felt emotionally exhausted, overwhelmed, discouraged, lonely, or anxious? Disconnected from someone important to you? Distant from the person you want to be? If you have–which, I believe, we all do at times–here are a few things I want you to know:
- I think you are remarkably brave for seeking help. I absolutely do not think you’re a weak person because you need counseling; as I stated in my first post, I deeply admire my clients for having the courage to make changes in their lives in order to be healthier and happier.
- I’m not going to “psychoanalyze” you. My job is to be curious. This includes asking some difficult questions so we (especially you) understand why you’re acting and thinking as you are. I’m not going to judge your character or your future based off of the vulnerable things we will discuss and explore in our sessions.
- I will not be surprised when (not if) you slide backward to old behavior patterns. This is natural, and part of the change process. I believe we learn the most about ourselves when we allow mistakes and don’t expect perfection. Personal and relational transformation will take time–but it will be so worth it. Please don’t give up or become discouraged. You deserve to see this journey to the finish line!
- I will never “fix” your problems or your life. That’s up to you. I will not spew advice at you nor tell you what to do. Through our sessions we’ll talk about where you are, where you want to be, and how you will get there. Together we’ll make a reasonable game plan with practical steps for you to achieve your goals.
- Trust my intentions–I want you to have the life you want. I chose this profession because I truly love helping people find lasting healing. I am your advocate! We will work at your pace to overcome your challenges and weaknesses so you can be the best possible version of yourself. You deserve to be happy and I want that for you!
Lastly, I want you to know that increased happiness is just one of the many outcomes you can enjoy from therapy. You can also experience: A greater understanding of your needs and how to fight for them in a healthy way; the ability to make tough, thought-out decisions instead of simply reacting in the moment; more connection, vulnerability, and meaning in important relationships; the strength to fight off painful emotions when they are present in your life; the presence of mind to forecast and overcome potential stumbling blocks in relationships and in your recovery; and–best of all–the chance to live more congruently with your true, happy self.
Call me! I am excited to start building our therapeutic relationship. I promise that when you look back on where you are now and where you’ll be after our sessions, you’ll wonder why you waited this long.
Sincerely your future therapist,
Melissa Cluff, MS, LMFT, CSAT, EMDR-II
P.S. Tune in next week for my post on how to choose the right therapist, and why my specialized skills and training will be the best fit for your needs!