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 can reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You have strengths you’ve used before, but you may not be tapping into those 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 and use those strengths once again.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is that a skilled and trained 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?
It is well established that medication alone cannot provide a long-term solution to mental and emotional issues. Medication can relieve symptoms, but it does not address the cause of our distress or the behavior patterns that hinder our healing. 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. I suggest my clients discuss this with their medical provider to determine what’s best for them. 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, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. Here’s what you can expect:
We’ll discuss what brought you to therapy and what you hope to accomplish in therapy.
We’ll discuss your personal history.
We’ll discuss your progress on a weekly basis to identify areas where you are meeting your goals and areas where more work is required.
How long will it take?
Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them. The length of time therapy requires, to accomplish your goals, depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that initially drove you to seek therapy. Therapy can be short-term or long-term depending on the complexity of the issue. Typically, sessions are scheduled on a weekly basis initially, and then spaced out as you accomplish goals and see progress.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
In a word: commit. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. The work we do in session will need to be supported in your daily life to effect the change you seek. This is best accomplished by completing “homework” which can include journaling, practicing relaxation techniques, and becoming more mindful of your thoughts and behavior. We will see each other weekly but 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.