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What is freedom?
How do I know if counseling is a good idea for me?
If you're wanting to feel different, freer, happier… To learn new ways to act and react… To communicate better, deepen intimacy, relieve stress... To feel content. Counseling can help.
How often should I go, and for how long?
Most people come weekly, especially at first. It’s a good way to get started and build momentum. Some folks come in 3-4 times. Others continue for months or even years. Everyone is different.
What makes counseling most effective?
The willingness to really explore your experience - the feelings you avoid, the strengths you didn’t know you had,the things you do that get in your way. Being honest about what it is that you truly want. Persistence. Telling the truth. And making sure you feel safe and respected by your therapist.
How can I tell if I have the right therapist?
You should feel safe, and comfortable - and understood. Trust your instincts. Studies show that clients who feel cared for by their therapist have the best clinical outcomes. It may take a few sessions to know - but if it doesn't feel right, try someone else.
Should I do anything to prepare for the first session?
You’re welcome to simply show up. However, there are some questions you could ask yourself that might be helpful, such as:
▪ “How am I hoping that counseling will help me?”
▪ “How will I know if it's working for me?”
▪ “What is it that I truly want?”
▪ “Do I have any special concerns about things go?”
▪ “What sort of things have helped me in the past?”
“Freedom is our birthright. The freedom to be who we are, to express ourselves,
to connect with others. To live.
Yet freedom gets misplaced when we feel overwhelmed by fear;
when our hurt becomes a closing heart; when anger becomes our norm.
And along with suffering comes the mind, telling its stories about why and how,
and when, and who...
Stories that try to defend us, and justify our pain and our suffering.
These stories can obscure true freedom. Disguised as protection,
they keep suffering alive, and often lead to new sufferings.
Real freedom from suffering can be known, however.
It comes from seeing through stories that are lies, and telling instead,
It comes from the willingness to feel whatever we're feeling -
imperfect, human, vulnerable -
and not try to control it, or let it take over.
And it comes through seeing how we ourselves act to perpetuate suffering,
our own and that of others -
and choosing to act in some new way, for the sake of what you love.
All of which means being true to yourself, to that which is true within you.
This is where true freedom lies.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in people - how they think, how they relate to each other and the world. And most importantly, what makes them free. As a child I drank in fairy tales and ancient myths - stories that offer clues to what makes us tick. I moved on to religious texts, and practiced meditation and prayer. I studied psychology, went to counseling, and read a variety of self-help books. Then finally, I attended a workshop that brought it all together and helped me make it real.
I learned about the importance of truth, and the power of errant mindtalk. I learned about the costs of resentment, and discovered the relief of forgiveness. I learned the importance of feeling, and noticing the moment as it comes. I learned to breathe. And I learned the value of support. (For more info, go to www.moretolife.org.)
In the years since then I’ve continued learning and practicing what I know, and spending time with others to keep it real and take it deeper. I earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology, and was trained in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). I learned about nutrition, exercise and medication. I went to yoga classes, and learned what it means to be still.
In 1996, I got my Master’s in Social Work. Since then I’ve worked with children, the elderly, soldiers and the general public. I’ve dealt with psychiatric emergencies and violent offenders. I’ve worked with couples, and addressed spiritual issues. I’m happy to say that despite this variety of clients, I’ve found the ways of suffering to be simple and few. People are people, wherever they are. And what can help one, helps many.
Today I work in private practice, speak occasionally and study the Enneagram. Like everyone, I struggle and suffer, and go through times when nothing seems right with the world. I forget the things I've learned, and act in ways that I later regret. But there’s one thing I can never entirely forget - and that’s that suffering is never what it seems, and there’s always a way back to yourself, to peace, to a sense of freedom. My job is to help you find yours.
I was born in New Jersey, and later brought to Texas to live in various places. At age 17, I discovered Austin and promptly adopted it as my new hometown. I’ve lived here ever since, most recently with my wife, our two teenage sons and one teenage daughter, and (at last count) one dog, two rats, three chickens and a guinea pig.
2306 Lake Austin Blvd #203, Austin, Tx 78703
email@example.com - 512-464-1146
Copyright © 2009 N Havlick, LCSW. All rights reserved.