The Counseling Process

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When a client enters the counseling process at White Stone Resources, he or she begins a unique relationship that is designed to provide an atmosphere of safety and security that will give the client freedom to be candid and vulnerable about the struggles in their life. In return, the client will receive grace, understanding, and validation of their experiences. The foundation of safety and security in the relationship between the client and counselor is "confidentiality" or "client privilege." The counselor is bound by law to protect the confidentiality of the client and bears fully this responsibility. This client-counselor relationship is unique in that it is completely one-way. The counselor is there solely for the client's well-being and is trained to focus on the client's needs throughout the process. The counselor works to gain a deep understanding of the life experiences that have brought the client into counseling and to work with the client to develop a general path of treatment that can produce an outcome of overall improved satisfaction and manageability in life. The counselor is trained in active listening skills and knows a broad range of aspects of living a healthy and manageable life. Counseling with White Stone Resources is a collaborative process. The counselor and the client work together along the journey to assess and assure satisfaction of the client in his or her experiences.

Each client will be asked to begin counseling on a weekly basis, if possible for 4 to 6 weeks, in order to build trust and continuity in the counseling relationship. After this initial 4 to 6 sessions, an agreed-upon frequency for sessions will be determined to provide the optimum experience for the client. The foundation of the counseling relationship is extremely important to insure the best outcomes possible. A client can expect to provide a general history of their life experiences and relationships as well as the precipitating circumstances that led them to seek counseling at this time. The client will participate with the counselor in identifying the aspects of his or her life management skills which are healthy and unhealthy. Efforts are then made to enhance the use of the healthy skills and to introduce new or additional management skills while helping each client work to reduce the frequency of use of the old unhealthy skills. Some of the most common areas of life skill management that are addressed are cognitive reasoning versus emotional reasoning, development of emotional intelligence, emotions management, developing healthy thinking patterns, assessment and correction of core personal beliefs, development of realistic expectations of life and relationships, education of healthy family dynamics, education of healthy husband/wife and father/mother roles, and improvement/expansion of parenting skills.

At times during the counseling process, clients may experience increased anxiety, confusion, discomfort, sadness, et al. while they are actually developing healthier skills. These uncomfortable experiences are evidence of the actual internal changes taking place as the client transitions from old ways of thinking and feeling to new and healthier ways. The counselor is always reassuring to the client when this part of the process is occurring. The counselor and client will periodically review progress based on identified goals or overall life management and determine the optimum frequency and tenure of the counseling process.

The tenure of the counseling process varies widely with each client. Some clients are able to make necessary changes within 5 to 10 sessions while others are in the process for much longer. The degree and depth of change is usually proportional to the tenure of the process. It is the goal of White Stone counselors to help clients complete the process as quickly as possible while making sure the new and healthier ways of living are well established enough so as to prevent significant relapse.

"White Stone Resources and its staff have partnered with us at Prince of Peace for nearly ten years now. It was simply one of the best decisions we ever made. The White Stone team has helped bring spiritual, emotional, and relational healing to so many of our people, in the name of Christ. I can't imagine doing ministry without them."

 — Scott Christenson, Senior Pastor
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Palatine, Illinois