"Is therapy right for me?"
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice, and there are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it's to deal with long-standing issues that hold us back. Other times it's in response to a crisis or unexpected event in one's life such as a divorce or discovering that a teenager is doing drugs. Many people seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can provide insight, support, and new strategies for managing for all types of life challenges. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards positive change.
"Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems on my own."
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support and a fresh perspective when you need it. Therapy is ideal for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that's something to be proud of. You're taking responsibility by accepting where you are 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.
"What if I'm not the one with 'the problem'?"
Often, the person who comes to therapy isn't the one with "the problem." Maybe you're the parent, child, spouse, partner, friend or co-worker of that person. If your life is being impacted by another person's behaviors and choices -- whether it's alcohol, drugs, abuse, anger, depression, whatever -- therapy is an excellent way to learn new tools for coping with the situation and gain support in taking appropriate action.
"How can therapy help me?"
There are many benefits from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Counselors can be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Feeling empowered and hopeful about your life
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Gaining insight and awareness into unhealthy behaviors
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Letting go of old hurts and losses that hold you back now
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Establishing healthy boundaries
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Setting and achieving goals
"What can I expect from therapy? "
The beauty of therapy is that it's as individual and unique as you are. In the first few sessions, we get to know one another, determine what you want to work on and set your goals. Typically, sessions are scheduled weekly and last for about 50-minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. I may recommend a specific book or suggest that you keep track of certain behaviors and report back at the next session. Activities like this help you integrate your work in your sessions with your life outside my office. In order to get the most benefit from therapy, you need to be an active participant during and between the sessions. This is how you take responsibility for your actions, work towards self-change and create greater self-awareness.
Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Acceptance without judgment
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
"Is medication a substitute for therapy?"
We all know there's no "magic pill" that can fix all our problems, but many people benefit from a combination of medication and therapy. While medication helps to manage the symptoms, therapy goes deeper into the causes and origins of your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. I have a great deal of experience in working as part of a team with physicians and psychiatrists, which means I can partner with your other healthcare providers in supporting your treatment.
"Is therapy confidential?"
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. I am required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. I am required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. I will make every effort to work with the client to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.