Matt Halvorson, Licensed Professional Counselor
When you don’t have a clear answer, one of the most frustrating questions can be, “What do you want to do with your life?” My answer changed many different times before I realized that my life focused on two key ideas: a passion for helping others and a creative intrigue with the inner workings of the mind.
Naturally, the field of counseling called out to me as it melded these two ideas and gave me the chance to dig deeper into one of the most common questions we hear each day, “How are you doing?” I believe that we are each experts on our own lives and yet we need each other. The act of seeking help from a counselor is an acknowledgement that we want to bring another person in to support us with our own personal discovery.
Counseling for me is about asking simple questions, encouraging genuine answers, and facilitating insight that makes a difference. I am most alive when I have the chance to meet people in the mess of life, investigate their hopes, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, and work collaboratively toward a realistic and meaningful outcome.
View of Counseling
I believe that counseling should be client-focused, collaborative, and intentional. Each individual has a unique and culturally diverse situation that is best understood through empathetic and non-judgmental listening. I do not pretend to be an expert in your life and do not offer a magic bullet. What I do offer is a safe and supportive space to join you as you take on life’s challenges.
I work from the point of view that we benefit greatly from more fully understanding our problems. It is important to raise awareness around the emotions and thoughts we have, so that we are able to be intentional with our behavioral responses, instead of allowing our automatic reactions to take over. If we are able to take time to recognize how our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are interrelated, we can begin to implement strategies to overcome barriers and help us achieve more out of life.
Positive change in therapy is supported by a strong therapeutic relationship between therapist and client. With that strong foundation, it is possible to bring difficult and challenging aspects of life into the open. Therapy can be useful to investigate thoughts or patterns that may be causing unnecessary stress. These thoughts or patterns were once functional yet may no longer be serving you in the present. It is through open and honest conversation that the therapist and client can work together to shift those thoughts or patterns to be realistic and adaptive.
Some clients benefit from the act of sharing and talking out their thought process with another person while others prefer to focus on changing behaviors and thinking through the impact that a new set of behaviors can have on thoughts and feelings. In our first meeting, we will discuss your goals for therapy and agree on shared expectations for our working relationship.