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. It may call for something a bit different if you are navigating through unfamiliar waters. In our work together, we’ll work to identify what your strengths and resources are and how they can assist you in dealing with this current situation.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
There are a couple of key differences. One is objectivity. It’s difficult for a friend or family member to be totally objective and this can effect how much they are able to be of help. A second difference is training and professionalism. A mental health professional is trained in helping others figure out things they have trouble determining on their own. They 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 someone sharing what you shared with someone else you know. 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. Medication can be helpful in many situations, such as treating symptoms or providing assistance in stabilizing mood or thoughts in order to then work on resolving your situation. Our work together is designed to determine what may be underlying your experience. This may include strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy. If there is a mental health diagnosis which requires medication, this can also play a factor and should be addressed as well.
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. In our sessions, we will work to address your specific needs and goals.
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. My general approach, however, is to work toward fewer sessions as time and progress allow, and to provide you with tools to be able to work through things on your own as they arise.
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 visit with both of you together. Through this process, we would determine if individual sessions could be beneficial as well in addition to couples counseling. It may be determined that individual session might also be best done with a different counselor depending on the issues being presented.