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, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is that 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. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” 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. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Each person has different issues and goals for therapy, and I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
In general, during the first session we will discuss practice policy & confidentiality, and begin to hear your story. We will also begin to discuss goals for therapy. The focus of the second session will be for you to continue your story, and to discover potential areas of strength and improvement. The third session will involve clarifying the focus of counseling (i.e., your goals, or things you’d like to change). All subsequent sessions will be focused on meeting your goals. We will periodically discuss the progress, and decide if we need to add goals, change them, or if you want to be done with counseling.
My goal is to help you meet your goals as efficiently as possible, so you can get on with your life.
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.
That said, I primarily use a treatment model called “Solution Focused Therapy”, which typically helps clients meet their goals within 12 to 20 sessions. Some clients meet their goals much sooner.
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 (typically) only see each other for a session a week. I recommend that clients view therapy as a short-term investment of time, money, and emotional energy. Setting the expectation that this is time for you to really work to finally experience the changes you’re seeking, can help you get the most out of each session. This mindset can also help you better apply the insights gained in session to your regular life, and can shorten the time you may otherwise have spent coming to therapy.
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.