What is Counseling?

Harborside Counseling

"Once you decide that a particular therapist is likely to be a useful guide through unexplored territory in your life, the work can begin. What do you do next?

Your primary responsibility in psychotherapy is to work toward becoming more aware of your experiences, thoughts, feelings, and memories, and to talk about them during the therapy session. The awareness may be about any aspect of your present or past life. It may be about the therapy or the therapist, about night dreams, daydreams and fantasies. It may be about hopes, joys, sorrows, fears, and relationships-anything that may come to mind during the session. Although people new to psychotherapy often try to "prepare" for therapy sessions by creating an agenda or deciding in advance what to talk about, they end up trusting that the process itself will bring to mind highly useful material. Sometimes it is the sequence of topics that are mentioned or the recall of events that appear to have been "forgotten" that provide important clues to what is going on for you below the surface. It may take time for you to feel convinced that your therapist is vitally interested in hearing about your ordinary as well as unusual experiences, and that she or he will not be judgmental or shaming no matter what you reveal or talk about.

It is sometimes particularly useful to report and talk about dreams, uncomfortable feelings such as anger and disappointment, and feelings of warmth or longing. Dreams can provide a useful window to that part of your inner life that is harder to access directly. Feelings that arise in a psychotherapy session may also have been an important part of relationships with important people in your past and can be linked to important memories. The therapist will therefore encourage you to talk freely about-rather than act on-feelings that may come up about him or her.

The process of revealing thoughts and experiences that are uncomfortable, painful, or laden with shame or guilt is important in the course of therapy. Indeed, simply talking at length about the details of such experiences in the presence of someone who is interested and empathic tends to be helpful, since it reduces the degree to which you feel alone in the experience or ashamed of some aspect of it. Revealing joyful experiences or points of pride and delight is also important."

- americanmentalhealth.com
See more at: http://www.americanmentalhealth.com/articletherapyexperience.trust

Mindfullness, Stress management, there are many different kinds of therapy. Here are a few of the tools and techniques offered by Harborside Counselors.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior. - Psychology Today


Couple therapy is a means of resolving problems and conflicts that couples have not been able to handle effectively on their own. It involves both partners sitting down with a trained professional to discuss their thoughts and feelings. The aim is to help them gain a better understanding of themselves and their partner, to decide if they need and want to make changes, and if so, to help them to do so.

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The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is the psychological acupressure technique routinely used in our practice and most highly recommend to optimize your emotional health. Emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing - no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body's ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.

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EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.

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During therapy sessions, the family's strengths are used to help them handle their problems. All members take responsibility for problems. Some family members may need to change their behavior more than others.
Family therapy is a very active type of therapy, and family members are often given assignments. For example, parents may be asked to delegate more responsibilities to their children.
The number of sessions required varies, depending on the severity of the problems and the willingness of the members to participate in therapy. The family and the therapist set mutual goals and discuss the length of time expected to achieve the goals. Not all members of the family attend each session.

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Group Psychotherapy is a unique therapy modality which offers the opportunity for interpersonal experience for growth in a safe supportive setting. Harborside Counseling Services groups may be weekly or bi-weekly, time-limited or on-going, specific to a topic or issue, or general and open-ended.

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Individual therapy—also known as psychotherapy, talk therapy, or counseling—is a collaborative process between therapist and client that aims to facilitate change and improve quality of life. Therapy can help people confront barriers that interfere with emotional and mental well-being, and it can also increase positive feelings such as compassion, self-esteem, love, courage, and peace. Many people find they enjoy the therapeutic journey of becoming more self-aware, and they may pursue ongoing psychotherapy as a means of self-growth and self-actualization.

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IFS-The Internal Family Systems Model is an integrative approach to psychotherapy combining systems thinking with the idea that the mind is made up of sub-personalities, each with its own viewpoint and qualities. It uses the family systems theory to understand how these collections of sub-personalities are organized. IFS was developed by Richard C.
- Schwartz, Ph.D.

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Imago Relationship Therapy, created by Harville Hendrix Ph.D is an effective way to create stronger relationships because it helps us become more aware of the way that we are all deeply interconnected. It offers insights into the unconscious agenda we bring to our relationships. With this information, we can begin to cooperate with this hidden agenda. With the Imago tools we can decrease defensiveness and reactivity in order to experience more intimacy and connection. As a result, we can choose to grow together in a safe and creative, non-controlling healing way.

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Play Therapy

Play Therapy uses a variety of play and creative arts techniques (the 'Play Therapy Tool-Kit (TM)' to alleviate chronic, mild and moderate psychological and emotional conditions in children that are causing behavioural problems and/or are preventing children from realising their potential.

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