Why would I choose to see a counselor?

Counseling is helpful when the ways by which you have coped in the past are no longer working for you or when you recognize unhealthiness in your coping patterns. Our counselors are trained to help you get to root issues so that you become more able to see your choices for dealing with and managing those things which distress you about others or yourself. Counseling is also recommended when persistent or troubling thoughts, feelings, or behaviors are beyond what would be normal for you. The decision to pursue counseling is a healthy response that provides an opportunity to grow in insight, faith and character.

What are the differences between the two member care organizations in Chiang Mai?

In 1998 a number of people from several different organizations who were interested in member care began to network together. They saw the need to encourage each other and to increase the member care services available to people in this part of the world. From this networking group, The Well began in 1999 under the leadership of Harry Hoffman. Over the years The Well grew as a member care resource and attracted people from several different helping disciplines including counseling, pastoral care, and prayer ministries.

The network of member care providers saw the need for additional counseling services to be available in Chiang Mai. Under the leadership of Dr. Timothy Friesen and with the help of the Narramore Christian Foundation, Cornerstone Counseling Center was established in the fall of 2004, later becoming Cornerstone Counseling Foundation (CCF).

p>Since that time, these two sister organizations, though having different primary purposes, have continued to work together to provide member care services in Chiang Mai and throughout Asia. Cornerstone focuses primarily on counseling and treatment services by licensed professional therapists, whereas The Well focuses on broader member care and preventive services, which also includes counseling. We encourage you to look at both web sites [www.thewellcm.com and www.ccfthailand.org] to get a better idea of the services and personnel at each agency.

What kinds of problems are the counselors at Cornerstone able to help me with?

  • Uncomfortable, overwhelming, or difficult-to-control feelings
  • Unproductive behavior habits that you have not been able to change
  • Situations that leave you feeling stuck
  • Difficulties in family or work relationships
  • Traumatic experiences or major losses
  • Concerns about the future
  • Difficulties with or questions about medications (our staff psychiatrist could help)
  • Disturbing thoughts

What other help and services could I receive at Cornerstone Counseling Foundation ?

  • Coaching or direction in personal growth
  • Information about unfamiliar issues or situations
  • Debriefing for unusual or stressful experiences
  • Consultation in a time of transition
  • Assistance to gain closure for a particular period of time before moving on
  • Help in seeking a more objective view from someone outside your situation
  • Review of issues and factors involved in a major decision
  • Assistance in team-building in organizations

What factors do we consider when matching a counselor with a client?

  • The client’s identified issues and concerns
  • The counselor's experience, expertise, and specialized training
  • The counselor's gender, if this is a concern for the client
  • The counselor's availability
  • The client’s requests

How long would I need to see a counselor?

This depends on many factors. Generally, the first session or two are set aside for the counselor to hear your story and for you to get a sense of whether or not there is a fit between you and the counselor. This initial assessment leads to a plan for treatment and recommendations that are discussed and mutually decided upon between you and the counselor. The amount of time spent in counseling depends on factors such as time constraints, severity of distress, how long problems have been present, personal traits and coping skills, and the presence or absence of other stressors in your life.

Can I come back to see the same counselor at a later time?

Some people find that after having completed a successful period of counseling, they want to address additional issues or pursue deeper healing. If this is the case for you, or if troubling problems begin to recur for you, it is often wise to return to the same counselor with whom you had counseled previously. In some cases, it can be positive to pursue counseling with a different counselor who has expertise in a particular area or is of the opposite gender.

Will someone think I'm "crazy" if I see a counselor?

Some people are insecure about admitting that they have a problem. They may, out of their own insecurity, judge a person who has the courage to do something to address a problem. The truth is that most of us enter adulthood with "baggage"-unfinished emotional and relational issues from childhood. We usually cope fairly well until we face high and unexpected levels of stress, at which time our usual ways of caring for ourselves may no longer be sufficient, and we may begin functioning in less healthy ways. Some people resort to denial, minimizing, spiritualizing, blaming, overeating, under-eating, overworking, over-involvement in activities, alcohol, drugs, pornography, or shopping, in hopes of feeling better, at least for a while. Although these ways of responding can initially lead to the illusion of feeling better, they also can cause reactions of guilt and shame and a sense of failure and alienation. Therefore, the decision to pursue counseling is a healthy response that provides an opportunity to grow in insight, faith and character.

If I do not live in Chiang Mai, how could I arrange to receive counseling there?

If you are able to come to Chiang Mai, please contact us at intake@ccfthailand.org to arrange counseling. Many expatriate workers living in surrounding countries have come to Chiang Mai for a period of one week to two months to receive assessment and treatment. It is very important to arrange this ahead of time to insure that a counselor is available at the times you are considering coming as some counselors’ schedules are filled 2-3 months in advance. After an initial intensive time of counseling, some have chosen to return at agreed upon intervals for follow up work with their counselor.

What is the difference between "member care" and counseling?

Member care, as it applies to expatriate workers, refers to the basic care for employees that an organization or business provides so that their members have the greatest opportunity to succeed in their work. Member care begins during the application/candidate screening process and continues throughout the career of the worker. Member care providers serve their organizations with various levels and types of training. Some member care workers are licensed as counselors while others may have a pastoral background or other type of training. You may also want to ask your organization's member care provider, if one is available, what you can expect concerning confidentiality, as this may vary from organization to organization or situation to situation. We at Cornerstone Counseling Foundation work closely with member care workers in helping to provide preventative care and initial assessment of potential problems warranting further evaluation. Chiang Mai is fortunate to have a member care resource center called The Well that provides support for member care workers and some general member care to expatriate workers throughout Asia . For more information about The Well, please contact: well@thewellcm.com .

How do I tell others that I am getting counseling?

Most expatriate workers we know have found that friends and churches in their home countries are very supportive of them receiving counseling. However, in occasional cases, some friends or supporters are concerned about how a counselor who is trained in psychology and is unfamiliar to them may influence their friend. If that is the case for you, you could invite people back home to contact us with any questions they might have. With your permission, we will be happy to respond. Because there are some people who have concerns about what it may mean for a person to seek counseling help, it is a good idea to begin sharing this information individually rather than in a general news update. This will give you an opportunity to respond individually to any questions or concerns others might have.

Who will know if I see a counselor at Cornerstone Counseling Foundation ?

Based on professional standards and ethics, all information shared with counselors at Cornerstone Counseling Foundation will be considered confidential with the exception of "duty to warn" and "mandated reporting" situations. The former pertains to situations in which a person is potentially dangerous to him/herself or others. The latter involves situations in which minor children are being and/or have been seriously abused. Apart from these exceptions, the privilege of releasing information remains with the client. In the case that an individual is sent by an organization for evaluation and/or treatment, the limits of confidentiality will be discussed with both the client and the organization before treatment begins.

I have a question that is not listed here?

Not a problem! Contact us to let us know what you would like to know! We might even include it on our FAQ page.

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