How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Your therapist can provide support, problem solving skills and new coping strategies to manage symptoms from depression, anxiety, unresolved issues from childhood, body image issues, communication issues and relationship troubles. Many people find that their therapist is an asset in managing personal growth, family concerns and relationship issues. A therapist can help you to recognize your own ability to create the desired change that has brought you tho therapy. The benefits of therapy depend on your willingness to actively participate in the process as well as your willingness to integrate the skills and knowledge that you gain during therapy into practice in your life. Some of the benefits you may experience from therapy include:
- Gaining a better understanding of your strengths, limitations, goals and values
- Improving your self esteem and boosting self confidence
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Coping methods to manage your symptoms
- The ability to manage anger, grief, depression, etc.
- Improve communication and listening skills
- Changing behavior patterns that aren’t working and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family, with your significant other and with your friends
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you have faced, there is nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go the therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition, (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful situations well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as, low self esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and are ready to make changes in their lives.
What is Therapy Like?
Therapy will be different for each individual since each person has different issues to address and different goals for therapy. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue and report progress or insights gained from your therapy/ Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short term for a specific issue, or longer term in order to deal with more difficult patterns and/or your desire for more personal or relationship development. Either way, it is common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
It is important to understand that you will get better results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session into your life. Therefore, your therapist may suggest that you complete specific homework or tasks for you to do in between sessions. Some examples are noting specific behaviors or feelings, journaling, relaxation exercises or even communication activities. People who seek psychotherapy are often ready to make positive changes in their lives, such as improving their communication skills with a partner, child or co parent.
Do I need medication or will psychotherapy be enough?
Research has established that the long term solution to mental and emotional issues, including the pain those issues cause, cannot be solved solely with medication. Rather than just treating the symptom(s), therapy addresses the cause of our distress and dysfunctional patterns of behavior. You have a better chance to achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well being with an integrative approach to wellness. If you choose or if your therapist recommends it, you can work with your physician or psychiatrist to determine if medication could help manage your symptoms. A combination of psychotherapy and medication is often effective for lasting change.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality unless there is suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults and elderly. Therapists are mandated reporters and do not need consent to report these matters to the appropriate authorities.
I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then.You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, and for whatever reason, they aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.