Why do people go to therapy?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I’ve never talked to anyone and usually handle things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. Everyone needs help now and then. While you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra help when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need help and are able to seek it out. You already have some strengths that you have used before, that for whatever reason aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. Therapy helps you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. 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. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to 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 of therapy include:
• attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
• developing skills for improving your relationships
• finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek help
• learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
• managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
• improving communications and listening skills
• changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
• discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
• improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, provide 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, confiding in a friend or family member creates a risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so as not to be reminded of this difficult time in your life.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different circumstances, issues they are facing, and results they are looking for, therapy is different for everyone. In general, you can expect to discuss current events happening in your life, personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions with your therapist.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of all therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do at home to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems cannot be solved solely by medication. Medication alone cannot solve issues, it just helps to treat the symptoms. Therapy does much more. Therapy is designed to explore the root of the issue and dig deep into your behavior. Therapy addresses the causes of your distress, the behavior patterns that curb your progress and teaches strategies that can help change your behavior and outlook to accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrated approach to wellness. Work with your medical doctor to determine what is best for you. In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
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. We tailor our therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, there is no uniform answer to this question. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them. 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.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
We are so glad and love to hear that 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 one 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 both would both like to work on it together, then we would initially see both of you together. After that, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, we 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 that can arise.
What payments do you accept?
We accept cash, check and all major credit cards for payment. We also accept most credit card based HOA cards.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment and have not notified us at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay a $50 fee. After two no show or late cancellation appointments, you will be required to pay the full fee.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent.” Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
* If a judge were to subpoena a client’s records.