For those of you who may be thinking about coming to Cornerstone for help, I would like to address some of the concerns that often arise when someone is considering making use of psychological services. Issues of privacy and confidentiality are typically at the top of the list, especially in a small-town setting like ours in which it often seems everyone knows everyone else. I would like to reassure you that our commitment is to the highest quality private and confidential services for each person who comes to Cornerstone. We provide each individual with the kind of secure setting in which they can experience acceptance, respect, and understanding as they discover and explore solutions to problems in their lives that may feel confusing, overwhelming, or full of emotional distress. Another concern or misconception often on people’s minds is the notion that going to counseling suggests a person must “lack willpower,” or that they must be “crazy,” or that they should simply be able to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and “cowboy up.”
For those raised or choosing to live in our rugged State, such beliefs often ring true, even though they couldn’t be farther from the truth. If only the human mind and emotional life were so simple! To the contrary, the human mind is perhaps the most complex thing known to us, which can be a blessing in terms of the richness of our lives, and yet, when things start to go wrong, the problems can be just as complex. Each person is unique and complex in their own way, and may come into times in their life when powerful feelings arise that are hard to understand–depression, nervousness, anger, guilt, confusion, dissatisfaction with unrealized goals. Such experiences do not arise out-of-the-blue. There are reasons for these feelings, unique to each individual. Each person then has a decision to make, whether or not they will choose to work with a professional to figure out those reasons and resolve the problems.
In my opinion, to choose counseling is not the action of someone lacking willpower like tackling addiction for example (drugs, alcohol, gadgets), but rather someone with a strong will. I might suggest that in the face of such problems, it is actually the brave person who takes the step of calling for an appointment. In recognition of, and respect for, the complexities of human emotions and problems in living that can arise, we at Cornerstone have gone to great lengths to hire the most highly trained staff. Nowhere else in our area will you find this number and caliber of doctoral-level professionals and substance abuse counselors under one roof offering comprehensive outpatient counseling and substance abuse services to people in the community-at-large.
To give an example, in order to earn the title “psychologist,” a person first needs to complete a four-year college degree, followed by four or five years of graduate school focused on studying and supervised experience. This is followed by another year of supervised experienced (called “internship”), and finally an additional postdoctoral year of supervised work in order to qualify for licensure. I am proud to say that each of our psychology staff has devoted themselves to this level of training. I also place meaning on the fact that each of our professional staff has the qualifications to work anywhere in the country, and yet they choose to live and work here, valuing our community and rural life-style. If you are someone considering coming to Cornerstone for services, the first step is yours, the next we can take together.
– The team at Cornerstone