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Jonelle Hanawalt, LPC


Counseling is NOT a one-size-fits- all! For some clients, simply having another individual to openly talk to about issues, their thoughts, their hopes, etc., is helpful. For some clients, they need guidance through really difficult situations that they find themselves in. For some clients they need education about effective ways to manage stress, how to communicate in a way that is assertive, how to establish boundaries, or they need information about their diagnosis. For some clients, they need help understanding why they do the things they do, despite the negative consequences to these actions. The reasons why people seek counseling is never ending! I try to meet an individual where they are when they come through the door. I talk about what their expectations are of therapy. Perhaps they have had counseling before and have found certain techniques or approaches helpful, or other approaches not so helpful. I use a variety of clinical approaches to fit to the client, their personality, or how they think and learn. As stated above, one size does NOT fit all in counseling. I have found using EFT as a technique to explore various issues often enlightens an individual as to where and why they behave and do the things that they do. In exploring the past, processing heightened emotions and triggering information about these experiences, many clients are able to let go of hurts, desensitize their bodily reactions to triggers, ultimately changing how they think and feel, building confidence about who they are.

Although I can be outgoing in some circumstances, many people are surprised to know that I am a very private and sometimes very shy individual. As such, I can empathize with people coming in for counseling. For some, it can be difficult to open up and talk about deeply personal experiences with me – a complete stranger! Although I may want to be focused and productive in our counseling sessions, I also understand that people need time and space to build trust. As such, I ask questions about the counseling experience itself (i.e. Was that helpful? What would make the sessions a little less stressful for you?). If they are struggling to discuss a particular topic, we can discuss the WHY’s behind this difficulty (i.e. How do you THINK I would react if you talked about whatever you’re struggling to say? How have other people reacted to this topic? What would be the worst case scenario if you did talk about it?). In this way, people can gradually build a tolerance to discussing the topic, see that what negativity they anticipated in the counseling session does not actually occur, and gradually build trust in our therapeutic relationship.