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Avery L Barber, MEd, LPC, NCC - Providing Confidential Assessment, Counseling and Referral

About Me

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People can make better decisions if they have enough information and understand how something works. Here are some aspects of counseling and therapy as I see and practice it.

Counseling includes your active involvement as well as efforts to change your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You will have to work both in and out of the counseling sessions. There is no instant, painless, or passive cure, no "magic pill.” Instead, there will be homework assignments, exercises, writings, journals, and perhaps, other projects. Most likely, you will have to work on relationships and make long-term efforts. Sometimes changes will be easy and swift, but more often it will be slow and deliberate. Some efforts may need repeating.

I take an educational approach to people's problems and encourage you to learn more about the kind of therapy I do. I derive my approach from Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy developed by Dr. Albert Ellis, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy developed by Drs. Aaron Beck and Donald Michenbaum, and Reality Therapy developed by Dr. William Glasser. These are well-established, researched, and respected therapies. You are encouraged to become knowledgeable about goals, methods, and effectiveness.

If we are to work together, we will need to specify goals, foci, and methods, risks and benefits of treatment, the approximate time commitment involved, cost, and other aspects of your particular situation. Before going further, I expect us to agree on a plan to which we will both adhere. Periodically, we will evaluate our progress and, if necessary, redesign our treatment plan, goals, and methods.

As with any powerful intervention, there are both risks and benefits associated with counseling and therapy. Risks might include experimenting with uncomfortable levels of feelings like sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, or frustration, or having difficulties with other people. Some changes may lead to what seems to be worsening circumstances or even losses (for example, counseling will not necessarily keep a marriage intact).

Clients I work with are psychologically and emotionally "healthy" and seek counseling for difficulties due to normal life events. I do not take on clients who, in my professional opinion, I cannot help using the techniques I have available. I will enter our relationship with optimism and an eagerness to work with you.
I have a special interest in helping adults with personal adjustment issues, adults, and children with substance abuse issues, children with academic and personal adjustment, and families and their relationships.