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Are You Tired Of Living With The Stigma Of A Criminal Record?
Has a court ordered you to seek out therapy because of a crime you’ve committed? If so, it’s possible that you’re resisting court ordered counseling because you feel “forced” to go. It may feel like an ultimatum, which makes finding a silver lining difficult.
Or, perhaps you’re struggling with feelings of shame or guilt about being labeled as a criminal. Maybe you’ve applied to several jobs or sought out housing, but after facing a series of rejections, you’re afraid that your legal offenses are holding you back from a better life. It’s possible that you’re not sure how to explain your past record to a potential employer or landlord, so you don’t try at all.
Your situation may also be causing strain in your relationships. Like many people with a criminal record, you might feel as though you can’t be honest or vulnerable with the people you are closest to because you don’t feel supported or understood. You might also worry that reconnecting with your old social group will pull you back into patterns you wish to leave behind.
You may have every intention of turning over a new leaf and productively reengaging in society, but you feel stuck in an unsupportive legal system. Maybe you feel weighed down by your criminal record, and you don’t know how to move forward. Or, maybe you’re searching for ways to ensure you don’t make poor decisions in the future, but you can’t escape the stigma of your past actions.
Do you want to transition back into society without being labeled as a criminal? Most importantly, are you hoping to regain a true sense of freedom?
Many Adults Have Criminal Records
Many Adults Have Criminal Records
Like so many others in the justice system, you may be feeling shame, regret or remorse for the crimes you’ve committed. It may seem as though you are stranded in an impossible situation. But, in truth, you are not alone.
The number of adults with an arrest record may be higher than you think. In fact, according to the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, 70 million adults, or 1 in 3, have been arrested at one point in their lives.
The truth is that crime is often a symptom of a larger problem. For example, if someone is struggling with substance abuse and lacks financial resources, they may be motivated to shoplift. Or, a mental health disorder, such as post traumatic stress (PTSD), can lead to a loss of impulse control—if a person with PTSD is grabbed in a bar, for instance, they may physically react and end up with assault charge.
Fortunately, we are now living in an era that favors rehabilitation over punishment. The justice system does not want to incarcerate criminals forever; instead, it is shifting to help people to find the treatment they need to succeed in society. They is the impetus behind court mandated therapy. With the help of a tailored cognitive restructuring program, I am confident you can shift your thoughts, transform your behaviors and succeed.
Therapy Can Point You In A New, Healthy Direction
Therapy can be incredibly effective in addressing certain behaviors and changing the negative ways you may be interacting with the world.
Utilizing techniques derived from cognitive-based therapies, including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and moral reconation therapy (MRT), we’ll examine and rewire your brain’s hijacked neuro networks. A DBT treatment plan can equip with you with new skills to manage painful emotions, leading to a decrease in impulsive behavior and relationship conflict. MRT counseling can help to increase your moral reasoning, which in turn decreases the likelihood that you will fall back into a life of crime.
In both behavior-based approaches, you’ll learn that a sense of companionship and connection is a profound piece of our work together. As you develop a sense of empathy for others, you will also gain the foresight of understanding how your behavior affects other people. As a result, you can learn how to create and enjoy healthy, reciprocal relationships, which are often the foundation of personal and professional success.
I have worked with people in the justice system for the past six years. I have witnessed clients come through the door feeling fearful and have watched them evolve into their own advocates. Once we begin our work together, I am confident that you too will realize that things are not as dark as they appear. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
You may still have questions about forensic counseling
You may still have questions about forensic counseling…
This is court ordered therapy; I don’t actually need treatment.
Ambivalence or resistance to court ordered counseling is normal, but let’s make the best of it. You may feel as though you did the crime and you’ve done the time. But someone is requiring you to be here, and I don’t want to waste a moment of this opportunity. I’m here to support your short- and long-term goals by helping you recognize where criminal behavior is getting in the way. Then, you can make measured changes toward a healthy, fulfilling existence.
I’m embarrassed that I have a criminal record.
Engaging in therapy is not about being innocent or guilty. It’s about realizing something is “off” in your life, and you’re looking for a change. If you’re not mandated to be here, yet you’re looking for treatment, that tells me you’re open to real and genuine modifications to your life. I want to equip you with the tools and strategies to succeed so you don’t have to resort to criminal actions. I want to help you put the shame down and start living a productive and meaningful life.
I’m afraid to face with the people I’ve hurt.
Taking accountability for your actions if difficult. But, we have all made mistakes that we’ve had to own up to, especially if we’ve disappointed someone. You may have hurt a family member, a parent, a partner or your child. You may also feel as though you are struggling with your own identity and coming to terms with the fact that you committed this crime. But your crime does not define you.
Still, it’s scary to own up to mistakes, knowing the people we’ve hurt may not accept our apology. The truth is, however, you can only be responsible for your own actions and feelings, and you cannot control how another person responds to you. For that reason, a large part of our work will include forgiving yourself.
You Can Be An Active Member Of Society Again
If you would like more information on forensic counseling and how to live a life free of shame and embarrassment, I encourage you to call me at 814-329-5304 for a free 20-minute consultation.