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Counseling Myths
February 07, 2010

1. Counseling never helps. Research has proven that counseling can be very effective in helping clients make healthy changes in their lives. However, healthy change isn’t a sure thing, so counseling isn’t always helpful. For counseling to be effective, it’s necessary for the client to take an active part in the process, both inside and outside of the therapeutic hour. If a client is unwilling or unable to look within in an honest way, it’s highly likely that this client will not achieve the healthy changes he or she seeks.

2. Counseling is just a place where people go to focus on their problems. There’s nothing but negativity: a problem-focused place to discuss life’s problems. Wow! Although many people enter counseling to address problem areas in life, not everyone does. Some people enter counseling proactively to find ways to address issues in healthy ways before these issues become problems while others simply want to find ways to achieve greater success in life. Yet, even for those individuals who enter counseling to address problems, there’s good news. Dr. Kahle uses competency-based approaches to help his clients identify their unique strengths and to help them learn how they can better utilize these strengths and resources to overcome their problems and maximize their potential. His clients have enjoyed his therapeutic use of humor, too.

3. Seeking counseling demonstrates a personal weakness. On the contrary, seeking personal growth and/or admitting that one doesn’t have all the answers to all of life’s questions demonstrates the presence of strength and humility. Thousands of years ago, King Solomon wrote “Plans fail for the lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

4. Counseling costs $225/session. Counseling just isn’t affordable. Although some counselors in Texas charge $225/session, Dr. Kahle doesn’t. In fact, he has a convenient sliding-fee scale that offers those clients who cannot afford to pay his full fee the opportunity to receive the same services at a lower cost. Please call for more details.

5. Counseling isn’t worth the hassle because insurance company employees who aren’t directly involved in therapy are ultimately in control of treatment. The client and his or her therapist should be in control of the course of therapy. Dr. Kahle made the decision years ago to avoid the potential of unhealthy triangles involving clients and insurance companies that might unintentionally compromise the quality of care for his clients. However, he’s aware that insurance companies can sometimes help clients who would not be able to afford therapy, so he developed the sliding-fee scale he uses today. Therefore, individuals who choose him as their therapist don’t have to take on any unseen financial responsibilities they can’t afford.

6. All counselors, regardless of whether they are a man or a woman, are touchy-feely softies who can’t relate to the typical man.  Although he's comfortable dealing with his emotions and the emotions of others, he also relates well with the typical man. In addition to being a working husband and father, Peter Kahle was an all-district athlete in both baseball and basketball at a local 5A high school. He was also the 1990 intramural bench press champion in the heavyweight division at the University of Texas at Austin. Today, he is an avid fan of college football and the Dallas Mavericks who enjoys weight lifting, golf, and coaching youth basketball.

7. All male counselors lack awareness of issues that are unique to women. Peter Kahle received both his M. A. and Ph.D. degrees from Texas Woman’s University where he received comprehensive education and training on women’s issues. Furthermore, he was the senior psychologist at the Texas Woman’s University Counseling Center (Dallas campuses) from 1998-2003 where he primarily worked with women dealing with a variety of life issues.

8. Counselors aren’t comfortable talking about spiritual or religious issues. Dr. Kahle is a nationally known clinician, presenter, author, and researcher on the topic of integrating spirituality, religion, and psychotherapy.

9. All counselors who are willing to talk about spirituality mandate how clients should talk about spirituality in therapy and lack the ability to understand how their clients’ faith is relevant to the issues they present in therapy. Dr. Kahle understands that some clients don’t want to talk about spirituality in therapy; and he respects their wishes. He also understands that therapists can address spirituality in ways that are harmful to the therapeutic experience of their clients. He’s presented workshops on this very topic around the nation for several years. His new book, entitled The Power of Spirituality in Therapy: Integrating Spiritual and Religious Beliefs in Mental Health Practice, addresses ways to avoid the traps of harmfulness while helping clients toward mental, physical, and spiritual health.

10. All good counselors refer most new clients to someone else within their agency. If you make an appointment with him, you can be rest assured that Dr. Kahle will meet with you himself.