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       Do you think you might need help? Should you see a professional? At some time in our lives most everyone can use some assistance, direction and unbiased feedback from an open-minded person who listens carefully and gives thoughtful feedback. When personal issues or events affect our lives they can impact the focus we once had, or the joy we once felt for living and accomplishing the important goals in our lives. It is at these times that it is easy for us to lose our own objectivity and motivation, or to have sadness or anxiety sap our energy. It is also at such times that you might consider the temporary help of a skilled and personable professional.

       How each of us addresses the upsets of life depends on the gravity of the situation, our psychological make-up, the sources of support around us, and how we tend to cope and communicate our needs to others. Since everyone is built differently, every problem requires an appreciation of your own unique strengths and concerns, the events that give rise to conflict, anxiety, and despair, and how effectively you are coping with them. Professional care should not only address the situation that brings you to counseling, it should also provide you with the knowledge and ability to effectively confront problems in the future.

       Since there are many different approaches to helping people through troubling times, I have chosen to briefly describe some of the more common types of services that I provide. It is important that your decision to use my services is an informed choice. I hope this list will help you to sort through the different options available to you. For more detailed questions, with no obligation, please contact Dr Bednarski.

Counseling Counseling involves working with a trained professional who is skilled in helping people through situations that challenge their ability to solve things on their own. Counseling can be employed to help individuals and couples who cannot find solutions on their own, or whose feelings or emotions block their ability to see things clearly. It is used to treat a specific situation or event that, once resolved, leads to improved decision-making and/or behavior change. Counseling usually requires a short-term investment of time and resources but can create lasting change in the area of focus being addressed.

Psychotherapy Psychotherapy involves working with a trained professional who is skilled in helping people change long-standing patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that are often a source of conflict, disappointment, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Such feelings, behaviors, and emotions may feel transient in that they tend to come and go depending on the day, your mood, and the situation you are in. But one hallmark of a lasting trait that may need attention is the degree to which such things seem to persist or reoccur in one or more areas of your life. A psychotherapist is usually a highly trained individual skilled in recognizing when such patterns exist and the destruction or unhappiness they can cause in your life. The focus of psychotherapy is usually longer, as long-standing patterns take time to change. While this is true, the process of change can start very early in psychotherapy and can lead to the excitement of self-discovery and the promise of new opportunities in life.

Coaching Coaching involves working with a professional trained in helping people make changes in practical areas of life such as career, relationships, dieting/exercise, organization, etc. Typically it emphasizes circumscribed areas of life as the main focus of the coaching relationship. Often if more serious concerns emerge from the coaching process, and the coach is not a trained counselor or therapist, the client is referred to such a professional by the coach.

Career Counseling Career counseling is best engaged when using a professional who understands both personality assessment (preferences, personal values, interests, etc) and how occupations, organizations, and hiring institutions work. A strong background in interviewing skills, resume writing, and the job-search process are all essential tools used by an experienced career counselor.

       The amount of time spent with a career counselor can vary depending on the objectives for which you are seeking help. If you are undecided about the type of work you want to do, there is typically a career assessment that is done before you engage in the job search process. This can be an exciting process, as you learn a great deal about yourself and how to find work that is meaningful and personally rewarding. If you need an assessment, it is very important that your counselor is very experienced in using a variety of written and computerized tools that will help you define the personal “fit” you would like with the work you wish to do.

Communication Skills Coaching Communications skills is an important part of one’s success in life and in work. There are many different aspects to communications skills training, as every person’s needs in this area are different. Learning how to communicate more effectively can be an exciting and liberating experience as you begin to view yourself and express yourself with greater clarity in all aspects of your life. While there are many professionals who “coach” in communication skills, it is essential to use a professional who is thoroughly experienced in personality assessment and who has worked with many different kinds of clients. This will lead to a more accurate description of both your strengths and areas in need of development.

Couples Counseling Couples counseling is performed for a variety of reasons. Some couples may be at an impasse on important life or career decisions and need help sorting through the complexity of such issues. Some couples may seek help to bring better understanding and less conflict to their relationship. Others may need assistance repairing deep wounds that have occurred in the relationship. Yet others may struggle with trying to align each other with the differences in which their personalities get expressed in the relationship. Couples counseling can be a complex and dynamic process in which all of the above examples may be present. This form of counseling is best provided by an experienced professional who understands the many normal, but upsetting, twists and turns relationships can take.

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