Katrina Boverman - Private Practice Social Worker


Are You Ready to See a Counselor?

Being ready to see a counselor is a very personal, individual decision and many people raise the same or similar issues. Perhaps by reading these comments your own thoughts or feelings will be addressed and you will experience some help in sorting out your next steps.
I hope that this information will be useful for you. 

Each person is unique and what may be most important is to have an idea of how satisfied you are with your life and to know that you have the option of available help.  Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you would like to learn more about my services, discuss your situation further and/or set up an appointment.


“All I need is a good friend or family member to help sort through my issues”

     >It is often possible to talk things through and develop plans with a trusted friend, family member, physician, member of     
      your faith community or a small support group.

    >You know your own issues and your resources the best of anyone.  Anything you do differently will help bring about some
      kind of shift in your life. The trick may be just to get   started and then to observe what happens.

    >You may have talked with someone before and nothing really seemed to improve or all was well for a while until the dread

    >Hesitancies to ask for help may have kept you from getting started and it may be easier to ask a professional instead of
      someone who is more closely involved with your life.

    >Once you have decided on a plan, you may want to set a date to re-evaluate your situation. If it has improved, then it is a
      worthy cause for celebration. If the situation has stayed the same or worsened, you may want to reconsider working with a

“My situation is not that bad”“If I can forget about these tough issues then they will go away”“I don’t have the time
  or money to spend seeing someone”

    >We all lead very busy lives and make financial decisions based on our needs and values. Our current lifestyle and how we 
      cope may work well for us or we may have varying degrees of dissatisfaction.

    >We may find that time and energy is being spent worrying, feeling regretful, unhappy, overwhelmed or confused. We may
      find that we are reluctant to make decisions or to take risks.

    >We may have the experience of going nowhere in life, that our life is passing us by, that we are paying more attention to 
      others’ lives instead of our own or we may be tired of the drama (or lack of drama) in our own life.

    >If any of this sounds familiar to you then it might be helpful to ask how much valuable time and financial resources are
      actually currently being spent on your issues.

    >Seeking professional help to focus on your issues and to bring about changes in your life may be well worth some
      intentional, guided time instead of continuing with your current methods.

“I don’t want to have to tell my whole story again”“I’m tired of talking about my stuff” 
   >Many of us have had the experience of telling and re-telling our stories to others and even to ourselves.  We may not have
      received understanding, acceptance, compassion, patience or inspiration so with good reason we question the usefulness
      of  sharing our stories again.

    >When we keep our stories to ourselves, the stories may re-circulate within our bodies, minds and spirits, like used oil in a
      car. We may not be aware that they are “lurking” inside and their presence may prevent us from living life more fully. 

    >At some point these issues and feelings may leak out, seemingly from nowhere, affecting other parts of our lives, our
      relationships with others and even our bodies.

    >Being willing to share even bits of our stories with another person often means taking a risk which can take great courage
      and honesty. How much we share about our story is up to us and it is always recommended that we trust the other person 
      and feel safe when sharing.

    >Sharing your story at the right time with a trusted person can actually be helpful if it leads to a letting go of some kind,
      some healing and a better understanding of the events or people involved.

    >As you get help with past experiences, the discomfort of the stories will lessen and you will probably be able to embrace
      them in a different way. With time, you will also be able to better acknowledge your own special strengths, character and

“How would I find someone to work with?” “I saw a professional before and it wasn’t very helpful”
    >Each person brings different qualities to the counseling relationship. If you met with someone in the past and it was not   
      helpful, it may not have been the right time, a good match or both. You may now have greater clarity about your situation   
      and there may be different issues that you would like to address.

    >If you are open and willing to have some help, you may want to consider qualities that lead to trusting or not trusting
      someone, feeling or not feeling comfortable in their presence, having a willingness or unwillingness to share personal
      information and risking or not risking exploring sensitive areas of your life.

    >Four ingredients for a trusting professional relationship are reliability, openness, acceptance and congruence (meaning a
      good fit). If these qualities are present, the relationship will require less effort, be more productive and actually feel good.

    >Most people decide to see a professional they already know in another capacity or are referred to someone by a friend. You
      may want to research professionals on your own and ask about their training, licensure and certifications as well as to get
      to know them personally. Some professionals even offer complimentary sessions to get to know them.

“I am confused by all the different types of professionals who work with people and all the different titles they have”
    >There is a great variety of helping professionals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and at times this can be
      confusing and overwhelming. We have social workers, psychologists, counselors, nurses, psychiatrists, coaches, and
      consultants to name a few and the services they provide might be called counseling, “talk therapy”, psychotherapy,
      consulting or coaching.

    >It is best to discuss the type of help you want and the type of help someone can provide to ensure a good fit.
    >Sometimes no matter how much research is done, what may really matter is if you are motivated enough to do something   
      differently and if you are willing to risk asking for help, willing to get to know someone and willing to let someone get to
      know you a bit. 

    >Each one of us ultimately decides if we work with someone, with whom we work and for how long. We decide if the work is 
      helpful or not, if we want to set up future meetings and if we would like to stop meeting.

 “I know people who have seen a professional for years and nothing seems to change. I don’t want that to happen to 

    >Working with a professional is an individual and unique process that can change over time. Although the “outside” of the
      person may not seem to be changing, who knows what is happening on the “inside”. Continuing to see a professional may
      provide the person with a safe relationship and a place to address their troublesome issues.

    >Each person has different issues, goals and preferences. Initially someone may start off meeting weekly to more actively
      address certain issues. After experiencing some change, some relief and understanding, people may cut back on the  
      frequency of the meetings or they may decide to stop their work completely.

    >Professionals also have different skills, styles and personalities. How we work with a professional and for how long is 
      ultimately up to us to decide. It is always possible to set time limited goals to help review and re-evaluate our work. Two
      main questions that can be helpful are whether or not it is the right match for you and whether or not the work is helpful.

    >Initially there probably won’t be immediate “cures” however you will start to notice some kind of shift in your feelings, your
      thoughts and your actions.  One to three meetings are usually sufficient to determine if the work is of benefit to you.

“I already see a psychiatrist. He (she) doesn’t spend much time with me and I don’t really want to see another

“My regular doctor prescribes a medication to help me feel better”.

    >Psychiatrists are often focused on medication management with 15 to 30 minutes allowed for each session. In addition to  
      medication recommendations you may have additional desires to sort through issues, share more personal thoughts and  
      feelings and develop plans to shift patterns in your life.

    >The psychiatrist or general physician may or may not have the time, desire or training to provide “talk therapy”. Speaking
      with them about what would be helpful to you and about what they can provide is always encouraged.

    >If you decide that your physician’s abilities are not the right match with your current needs you may decide to supplement
      your care with the help of  a counselor.

 “I find it stigmatizing to see a therapist”
    >You would be surprised how many people have actually sought counsel from professionals and just do not share this
      information openly.

    >Our society in general holds independence and immediacy as strong values. When taken to the extreme, many folks
      realize that pure independence can lead to tremendous isolation, and immediacy can lead to tremendous anxiety, worry
      and depression.

    >Acknowledging our desire to make changes in our lives while identifying our need for assistance can actually then open
      doors for improved self care, healing, inner peace and overall greater satisfaction with life.

    >On another note, professional problem solvers say that the first two steps to addressing a problem are the most important:
      admitting that a problem exists and asking for help. It is through this process of openness, willingness and courage that
      asking for help allows the “problem” to become an opportunity instead of a ball and chain.

    >Some people say that there is a mystery associated with seeing a professional, they may not know what to expect or
      perhaps they might even expect the worst. The word “psycho-analyze” has been commonly used to describe the process of
      counseling and to many it may seem intrusive, critical and a bit like “voodoo”. Actually very few therapists rely solely on
      psychoanalytic theory anymore. It is best to speak directly with a therapist to learn more about the theoretical basis of
      their practice, their skills, style of working with clients and their personality.

I hope that this information has been useful to you.  Each person is unique and what may be most important is to have an idea of how satisfied you are with your life and to know that you have the option of available help.  Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or call me at 301-345-4342 if you would like to learn more about my services, discuss your situation further and/or set up an appointment.

Empowering, guiding, and facilitating personal and professional change