Counseling Philosophy - John Eckenwiler
By far my highest priority is to listen closely to you so I can fully understand you. This means listening to what you say as well as listening to what any symptoms might be saying. I believe that someone's problems are not the person and feeling accepted as a person is crucial no matter what the issue. While the length of therapy fluctuates, I always try to take the shortest route possible to reaching your goals so that every session is meaningful. Your input is valued and respected every step of the way.
My core training is in family systems. This means that I look at family interaction and communication patterns, both past and present, to better understand whatever issue is problematic. It has been found, for example, that individual issues as serious as anorexia nervosa and asthma tend to be partially reinforced by past or present family dynamics. Our reaction to stressors, whether they be financial, an automobile injury, parenting, marital or work (to name a few), is usually predictable and is shaped by all our life experiences. Looking closely at attempted solutions from a systems perspective helps us understand what keeps you stuck and offers important clues for lasting solutions.
In the first session I will take a few moments to draw a family tree so I know who has been or is an important influence in your life (both good and bad). We will do a thorough and comprehensive screening of symptoms to be sure that nothing important is being overlooked. Then, rather than working from my own agenda, I help you identify what your solutions will look and feel like in concrete and practical terms. This includes a discussion about what brings you to counseling and how you hope I can be of help to you. Once these goals have been established, a suggestion or two is shared with you about what you might try after leaving that first session.
Concrete homework assignments are used regularly, and they target the goals set in the first session. That way, you always know what we are working on and how close we are to being finished with therapy.
Finally, a Christian perspective is used without imposing any doctrines. Principles of therapy are rooted in research in the fields of psychology and marriage and family therapy, and are also consistent with Christian teachings on life principles.
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