For Counseling Therapy
From all of my past and current experience as a client in relationship and addiction counseling myself, I have some very strong beliefs of what I want my clients to experience in a therapy session. First, confidentiality as defined in Washington State Law is absolute. Since the therapeutic experience is an intimately experimental environment, you cannot be expected to practice taking risks with new behaviors if it does not feel safe.
I believe very strongly in the counseling dictum that "the client always leads". That means what is most important to you in the moment is the first thing we work on. It is also my job to help remember and integrate the larger themes of your life into the "here and now". Your job is to supply the content; my job is to help you make the meaning.
Secondly, this is an environment where you are encouraged to practice and refine those new behaviors and perspectives. The therapeutic environment allows you to do this before actually taking them back into your relationship as well as your work and personal life.
Thirdly, it is my job to, the tools of education, reframing, coaching and feedback. I am not a passive counselor because, as a client myself, I usually benefit most from a psychotherapist who actively engages me with these tools. I know I like walking out of a therapy session feeling like something has been accomplished and I have heard the same sentiment repeated by my own clients.