What is therapy really like?
Each and every client we have has one thing in common.
At some point, they got up the courage to contact us to set up that first appointment.
For so many, just doing that is a wonderful first step towards health. For many, that first reaching out begins a journey that makes their lives better in so many ways.
Therapy is wonderful. At its core, it is a close and caring relationship between a skilled, compassionate and safe therapist and their client. This relationship is unlike any other the client may have experienced outside the therapy realm – it is almost completely based on their needs, wants, desires, traumas, experiences and goals. For many, this is the first time they have gotten the “unconditional positive regard” that is a hallmark of great therapy and that helps so many clients learn and grow.
At Sanctuary Christian Counseling, clients reach out to us in many ways – through our website, www.sanctuarychristiancounseling.com, our Google My Business page, our Facebook or Instagram pages, though email, phone or text. There may even be ways they reach out other than that, as we strive to be accessible to all.
Once they reach out to us, they will often receive a screening message designed to assign them to one of our six amazing therapists. The screener will assess their presenting issue and match them up with the therapist that would be best fit to help them. Then that therapist will contact the potential client to connect with them and schedule a session.
Sanctuary has both in person and virtual sessions, so the path diverges a bit here. If the person will be seen virtually, then a session is scheduled, paperwork is sent via email and a Secure Video invitation is sent so the online session will be secure and confidential. If the session will be in person, the scheduling process is similar, but the paperwork may be delivered via email or in person, and there will be directions to our brick-and-mortar office given instead of online instructions. There may be more conversation between client and therapist either way.
An online client will receive an email from our HIPAA-compliant video system, Secure Video, and follow the links within that video to the session waiting room. They will then be able to enter the session as soon as the therapist is in it, and the session will proceed online from there. At the end of the session, the therapist will schedule upcoming sessions with the client, and do whatever other end-of-session activities seem appropriate (such as prayer, setting up assessments, etc.).
Face-to-face clients, having found our office across from the Pizza Hut in Shippensburg, will call their therapist to be let into the office waiting room, and therapist’s office (this is a temporary COVID protocol). Once there, there are Starbucks drinks, water and other amenities for their comfort. The face-to-face therapist will bring them into their private office for the session. End of session tasks remain the same as the online ones.
Within the session, the online and in person therapist will be open, sincere and helpful, making the client feel comfortable, safe and able to share about their issues. Often, especially in a first session, a great deal of “background information” will be shared, and goals will be set for therapy. If there are to be specific factors regarding the therapy – such as assessments, other people’s involvement, or unusual circumstances – those will be discussed at this session as well. Subsequent sessions will involve a working through of the goals decided at this session as well as the processing of things brought to the session by the client. At Sanctuary, it is always about the client, and about the things they determine they wish to work on. We provide knowledge, expertise and skills to help them process their issues.
Eventually, all good things do come to an end, and at Sanctuary we like there to be a consensus between therapist and client that it is time for therapy to end – what therapists call “terminate.” Very often the client will come in the session and indicate it is their last one, and the therapist will affirm that was their thinking, also. It is good for the client to have one last wrap-up session to affirm all their work and discuss how they will move forward in health and wellness. This applies whether the therapy was virtual or in person.
A relationship that began with bravery so often ends with joy as the client moves forward in wholeness and the therapist is able to encourage them along their path.
At Sanctuary Christian Counseling, we help grieving individuals, distressed kids and teens and couples in conflict find peace, solutions and connection – virtually and in person.
Sanctuary Christian Counseling
9974 Molly Pitcher Highway, Suite 4
Shippensburg, PA 17257