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Maybe you believe in the value of counseling. Or maybe you don't quite understand exactly HOW talking with someone can help you through your problems. After all, can't they just "get over it on their own?" But counseling involves more than just talking to someone. The following is a list of the other elements that are part of a therapeutic relationship. When all these things are put together, people get better faster.
1. No matter how disturbing the subject, the counselor will still be engaged. When you share uncomfortable information with friends or family, their natural reaction may be to withdraw or run away. A counselor is able to stay in the room, physically, emotionally, relationally and personally — even in the midst of difficult topics.
2. A counselor will not judge. A counselor won't shame or judge your actions. He or she is there to help you understand how you got into this situation, why you made the decisions you made and the best way to make things right.
3. A counselor has empathy, insight, understanding and acceptance. A counselor does more than blindly listen. He or she has the ability to hurt with you without getting lost in that hurt. That's called empathy. They will have tools and ideas to help you navigate through some of the difficult situations you find yourself in. Your counselor knows how to listen with understanding. They get all the information first (or as much as possible) so they have a complete picture of the situation. Since they cannot change the past, they will help you learn how to accept the situation as it is, accept yourself unconditionally and accept the next steps in the process.
4. Counselors give you the opportunity to speak the unspeakable. Sometimes, things that are so difficult to talk about that you carry them around for years weigh on you, causing emotional, relational and physical problems. A counselor can listen to your story and help you figure out what to do.
5. Counselors provide a safe environment to be a mess. Looking at the heavy stuff in your life can be messy. Because the counseling relationship is confidential and protected, you can stop worrying about how you look or who will see you. You are protected, sheltered and cared for as you start to experience the appropriate emotions that come along with difficult situations.

So, why are we talking about counseling? Because we ALL need someone we can talk to — someone who can help us sort out our life situations, our fears and our next steps. Too often, though, we don't know where to turn for that help, or we are afraid that we won't be able to afford it. Walton Communities wants to help. While we are not counselors, we have partnered with a variety of professional counselors in the metro Atlanta and Augusta area to help meet the needs of our residents and team members. Walton residents and team members are eligible to receive up to four counseling visits per family per calendar year with a $10 co-pay per visit. Walton pays the rest for those four visits when they are made through an approved counseling partner. To set up an appointment, just contact one of the following directly and be sure to tell them you are a Walton resident or team member. All counseling visits are strictly confidential.
Legacy Strategy Counseling, 3105 Creekside Village, Suite 801, Kennesaw, 678-468-9103
Summit Counseling Center, 2750 Old Alabama Rd., Suite 200, John's Creek, 678-893-5300
The Care & Counseling Center of GA, Decatur (This group will meet with residents on-site), 404-636-1457
Foundation Counseling (Cameron Butler), 2655 Dallas Hwy, Suite 200, Marietta, 678-701-4034
Family Mosaic Counseling (Tanya Gustafson), 7000 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd., Bldg. 9, Suite 150, Atlanta (Spanish speaking services available), 404-594-5389
Laurie Chandler Counseling, 1640 Powers Ferry Rd., Bldg 17, Suite 300, Marietta, 678-607-5755
The Center for Care & Counseling (Fran Rhodes), Church of the Good Shepherd, 2230 Walton Way, Augusta, 706-829-2489

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