What to Expect from Counseling 

You can expect to meet with a professional counselor who is interested in listening to your concerns and helping you develop a better understanding of them so you can deal with those concerns more easily and effectively. Your counselor will take you seriously and be willing to openly discuss anything you wish to discuss. Please feel free to ask your counselor questions about herself or himself and the counseling process. Expect your counselor to focus the session on you, and not on others. Because counselors have different beliefs about how people change, they differ on how much talking they do in sessions, whether they ask you to do "homework," and their focus of discussion. If you have any questions about what is going on, by all means ask. Counselors have no magical skills or knowledge and will be unable to solve your problems directly for you. Your counselor will want to work with you and support you in resolving your concerns. Your counselor will maintain strict confidentiality, except under unusual circumstances. If you have any questions about the limits of confidentiality, please discuss them with your counselor.


Shoreline Community College is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodations, contact the Office of Special Services/Disability in advance of your session 206-546-4545.


Your Role in Counseling

The counselor has set aside your appointment time to be available to you. Please contact the Counseling Center or let your counselor know at least 24 hours ahead of time if you are unable to make it to your session.


Your expectations and role in counseling have a large impact on the counseling relationship, process and outcomes - so get involved. Your main responsibilities are to attend your scheduled sessions, talk about your concerns and complete any tasks or homework assignments as you feel comfortable. Most counselors will ask you to try something new or experiment with a different approach. Please let your counselor know when your problems are improving or have been resolved as well as if you don't feel like you're making any progress. Your counselor is most interested in your benefitting from counseling and making progress towards your desired goals.


Common Difficulties in Counseling

One of the most difficult steps in counseling is making the decision to see a counselor for the first time. Making that decision is an important step towards change. It often takes courage to talk about yourself with someone you don't know or haven't met yet. During the process of change you usually must try out new ways of doing things and this can make you feel uncomfortable, anxious, scared or frustrated. You can openly and honestly talk about your thoughts and feelings with your counselor. The commitment and practice of trying out new ways and pushing your limitations often leads you to gaining new and exciting insights into aspects of yourself, and discovering new options for resolving your problems.


Tips on How to Benefit from Counseling

Be ready to focus on particular problems or issues. Come prepared to your sessions. Attend your scheduled sessions and take an active part in them. Complete (or at least attempt) any counseling homework. Tell your counselor if you are making progress or if you don't think you're being helped. Ask for what you need and what you believe will help you most.