I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. I have heard that people who go to therapy are weak.
Everyone needs help now and then. You already have strengths that you utilize every day to make decisions, solve problems, and heal. Some problems can feel overwhelming or unsolvable. It actually takes courage and strength to face your difficulties.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
Friends and family don’t want to see you hurting and so often try to help by making you feel better or give you answers. 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. Usually when you are seeking therapy you are dealing with situations, hurts and pains that are very personal and difficult to look at and talk about. Talking to a therapist can allow you to be vulnerable in a safe way.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication only treats the symptoms. If medication is helpful, then seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist allow you to get supported mentally, emotionally and physically. Therapy is designed to explore the root of the issue, which reaches into your behavior, thoughts and feelings, then teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
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 for each individual and couple. In most sessions you will talk about you and what you are going through. I make observations and talk with you about them. When you do Brainspotting you will talk, listen to music, and use eye positions. You can see more about that technique under the Brainspotting section.
How long will it take?
Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time it takes varies. For instance, if you are having a specific problem and looking for solutions, it may only be 6 sessions. If you are having difficulty functioning in your life, it could be a year or more. Session start on a weekly basis and then generally go to bi-weekly, monthly and then many people will come in occasionally for check-ins.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
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?
To work on relationship issues it is best to work together in sessions. Sometimes you will discover that one or both of you would like to work on individual issues and then you would seek individual sessions with me or with another therapist.