As a High School student I was extremely nervous to receive any sort of counseling. I felt that struggling mentally was a self-induced problem and that receiving help would cause me to be seen as lesser in the eyes of others. I pictured therapists as impersonal and didn’t see the benefits of opening up to a stranger when I had my family to support met. Luckily, my mother ignored by refusal and made an appointment for me at the Forging Place, where my misconceptions of counseling were quickly dissolved.
At counseling I experienced a very safe and comfortable outlet to express my deepest feelings and worries. The first thing my counselor went over was privacy, which immediately made me feel better about the whole process. I then proceed to talk about what was going on in my life and what I was struggling with. My counselor was very personable and help me make connections between my though processes and feelings. Each session we talked about strategies that I could implement though the week and worked on retraining my thought process.
I particularly like coming to the Forging Place because I trusted and felt a connection with my counselor. She always seemed to know the right questions to ask and helped me understand the source of my depression and anxiety. I was also able to relax in the peaceful environment and felt comfortable asking questions about my treatment. The Forging Place also allowed me to include my family in some sessions, which I found very effective and helpful to my healing process. My favorite thing about attending counseling was that my counselor helped my set tangible goals so that I could see the process I was making and what I still needed help on.
It has been over a year since I stopped receiving counseling, but I still see its effect in my daily life. I believe that counseling helped me get my life back and be myself again. When I was struggling with depression and anxiety I had lost my social life and ability to be a successful student. I’m in college now and feel that I have a healthy outlook and can be academically successful without compromising my mental health and social life. I can recognize when my worry is out of proportion to the situation and take the steps needed to calm myself down. My self-image has also improved and I have the confidence to do stuff that I previously saw as out of reach for me, such as pledging a sorority, running for student government, and being a biology pre-med major. My experience at the Forging Place was so positive and beneficial that my current goal is to become a child/adolescent physiatrist so I can help others in similar situations.
Susan, age 19
I was initially apprehensive about counseling, but I recognized that nothing else I had tried in the past had made any real lasting difference. My hope in going into counseling was that it would be something sustainable and promote real change.
I saw the counseling experience as self-examination with a coach. A self-inventory was long overdue and I needed someone to step me thru that process. I needed someone that recognized the correct pace and understood when to push for more. I knew as we began that I would not have the courage to ask myself some of the hard questions that needed asked. Having a safe and private environment where you don’t have to feel labeled, attacked or ashamed really allowed the process to do its work.
What I like most about The Forging Place was the connection that was made to Christianity. Nick and I discussed scripture often and connected the process to biblical truths that helped me understand my real identity.
I have been out of counseling for a little over a year now. The biggest impact are the tools that I received during the process. Counseling didn’t just help me work through some issues, it provided me with practical strategies to identify triggers and cope with challenges that in my past would have been dealt with in a variety of unhealthy ways. When you embark on this journey you have to have a goal. Nick helped me establish the goal and he lead me to embrace disciplines that ultimately allowed me to realize that goal.
John, age 45