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. It takes a lot of courage to face troubling feelings and to ask for help. Therapy is a tool to help you to re-claim your own strength and resourcefulness. You’ve handled a lot of difficult situations before, totally on your own, but right now you may be feeling overwhelmed. In our work together, I will help you to sort things out and to re-discover your own strength and wisdom.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
Your best friend or family can offer you very special comfort and love. A mental health professional has the training and skills to help you understand and approach your situation in a new way. He or she can teach you new skills, help you to gain different perspectives, and listen to you without judgment or expectations. Also, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” With some exceptions (like the risk of you harming yourself or others), what you say in the therapy room stays there.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be truly lifesaving when you’re suffering from severe depression or another serious disorder. It can help you get to the point where you can begin to talk about your feelings and to be receptive to new strategies and behaviors that can lead to sustainable change. However, medication is no substitute for working with a therapist to gain insight into your feelings and situation and to find ways to make positive changes in your life.
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?
It’s hard to generalize. Everyone’s circumstances are unique and the length of time a person spends in therapy can vary a great deal. Some feel that a few sessions are beneficial. Others spend considerably more time in therapy. I try to make each session count so that even brief therapy will be helpful to a client.
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 is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other once a week. It’s the work that you do outside of our sessions that will really help you to grow and to work through your challenges.
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.