Choosing a Counselor
Jean Ann Gabby, MS
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
National Certified Counselor
I guarantee results,
with positive change usually
occurring in as little as an hour!
Finding a Good Match
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to seek help, and even more effort to choose carefully. Because counselors are called into our lives when we're feeling lost or torn, frustrated or confused, alone, suffocating, possibly angry enough to go against our good senses, or faced with something that looks or feels too big to be handled alone … finding a counselor who is a good match for our personal style and temperament is an important decision on many levels. "How a counselor works" is a critical consideration because problems can morph into something worse if not addressed squarely in warrior fashion with a strong new attitude, new tools, and enlightened vision.
Neither of us wants the counseling relationship to become a lifestyle, and the point of short-term help in the first place is to get a good grip on your issue, knock it out of the park, and move on with your life. If you're reading this as part of a search for a private counselor, coach, mentor, muse, confidante, or trail guide, I would be honored to personally answer your questions.
Work Style and Philosophy
In this light, I hope the following characteristics about my work style and philosophy may help with your decision.
- I cherish your innate yearning to be free, to be respected, and to be accepted for your unique self with your own characteristics. I will not rest until you develop a stronger internal locus of control and are willing to let go of the chains and weight of whatever external influences and pressures are draining your happiness.
- I am not a soft, fluffy, sponge-listener-do-nothing kind of counselor whose style is to watch you wallow and recycle your pain over and over. I believe we are all naturally gifted with the tools we need to live productive happy lives. Since 1993, clients have hired me as their realist, not to sit as a warm social presence, in which case if a potential client needs this level of service I might suggest a puppy. I am warm and receptive but not gooey. Engaging but not engulfing. Realistic but not harsh. I care deeply that you heal, strengthen, and then leave. I understand that good counselors don't tell clients what to do, but instead we light enough fires that the save-thyself response engages and you do just that. It is your life, not mine, and the success must be yours.
- I value the contributions of your past but respect the attributes and greater potential of your future.
- I am hired to offer crisp new awareness from a 30,000-foot perspective and to transfer this view in concrete objective terms that you'll quickly grasp, and to bring out in you a sharpened new instinct that will come to your aid in the future.
- My research and 25-year study of ego development stages play a strong treatment role in helping you see how developmental gaps in maturity are often the clearest reason for problems. Without exception, this knowledge brings every client to the "Aha! Experience," and a welcome relief by seeing what is actually beyond their control. Please read about this important specialty in "About the Provider" and "Workshops and Groups."
- I look at the whole picture of you in relation to others in your world (object relations), and help you see these relationships for what they are – as separate entities. In this alone there is huge relief.
- I call a spade a spade and will challenge irrational beliefs and thoughts with the appropriate degree of gentleness. You deserve truth and in my view, to divert from it is not in your best interests.
- I use a colorful vocabulary, a motivating sense of humor, and as many everyday analogies as needed to help you make sense of muddy situations, cloudy memories, and the most severe and challenging issues.
- Experienced with dozens of therapeutic techniques, I avoid buzz-words, psychobabble and fads, and will never subject you to popular new techniques unless proven valid and reliable over time, and only if right for you. I rely on wisdom, seasoned instinct for thriving, and the support of extensive training, research, and experience.
- I weave vibrant, actionable interpersonal education and client involvement into each counseling process. We unravel and expose the stages of human ego growth, the indicators of emotional maturity, the protective power of healthy boundaries and assertiveness… and we tackle depressive and anxiety symptoms with common-sense basics that create quick and lasting relief. Our time together can result in a newfound confidence across many aspects of your life.
Foundation beneath my treatment philosophy
Conventional wisdom from our country's founders suggests that "Empowering Individuals" – in addition to groups of support systems - is the real key to national health, fiscal wellness, international harmony, brilliant children, faithful partners, wrinkle-free aging, and the unbridled pursuit of personal happiness. Do I believe this? YES! Well, all but the wrinkle-free part … and I fervently apply the philosophy of strength through individual autonomy to my work. After all, who is more qualified to live your life than you?
EMPOWERMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL (YOU) to be self-sufficient, self-determining, self-reliant, self-respecting, and self-loving is the founding core value of not only my own self and life path but has been proven throughout history as the most caring, loving, and respectful gift one person can give another.
Given this, our work together will include the specific goal of your success as the one and only "CEO" in charge of your life. The understanding that you own your freedom, your choices, your options, your decisions, your "stuff", and your results… will be astonishingly liberating when you fully accept it. And that you are not responsible for another person's feelings, views, opinions, or actions is quite often where our journey begins.
Therapeutic Treatment Methods
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Rational Emotive Therapy (RET)
Brief Therapy – Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Constructive Developmental Stage Therapy
Transactional Analysis (TA) for effective communication
Grief and Bereavement Counseling
Eclectic (combination of cognitive behavioral & psychodynamic methods)
Family Systems Therapy (application to attachment theory)
Marital Therapy; Marriage Counseling
Relational Therapy (RLT); Relationship Counseling
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) Short-term Psychotherapy
Psychodynamic Therapy, in limited cases