Is therapy right for me?
People choose therapy for a variety of reasons.
- Personal Growth
A person may simply want to explore ways to enrich their relationships, improve their parenting skills, keep their marriage strong for years to come, learn to choose better friends and keep them, minimize traits that sabotage relationships, relate better to in-laws or parents, or other worthy goals.
- Problem Solving
In some cases a person may struggle with anxiety or depression, or a long-standing psychological (emotional) burden that is sapping their strength and negatively affecting their relationships.
Unexpected changes, transitions, or losses often provoke turbulent seasons of life that may be difficult to navigate alone.
Many who seek counsel simply want a thoughtful, discerning person with whom they can freely discuss important direction-setting decisions or other pivotally important areas of life.
What are the benefits of therapy?
Working with a therapist, you become better able to see and interpret the sticking points in your life. Together we identify workable solutions. You will also find freedom from needless burdens and more satisfying and productive ways of addressing the things that hold you back.
Is therapy like networking?
Choosing to begin therapy means you have recruited a skilled and compassionate professional to help you get further than you would if you depended solely on your own resources.
In every other area of life people network with others who possess specialized skills to get the best results. So in therapy you are doing the same thing, connecting with someone qualified to help.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Choosing therapy indicates that you recognize the crossroads nature of your current situation—you don't want things to continue as they are.
You also understand it is your responsibility to do something about it, and you have made a decision to act rather than hope things will get better on their own. This kind of thinking demonstrates that you do have the ability to meet the challenge if you have the necessary resources. That is where counseling comes in.
During our sessions you begin collecting and practicing the skills you need and begin forming a new perspective that will be an important element in making the changes needed to become who you want to be.
How can therapy help me?
A therapist can provide:
• New ways of thinking about the situations you face
• New coping strategies for things you cannot change
• New insight into relationship conflicts, or grief, or unresolved issues in your life
• Unwavering support while you're sorting it all out
Here are some of the things you could expect:
• Gaining 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 therapy
• Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
• Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
• Improving your communication 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
The benefits you walk away with will depend on whether or not you are willing to put what you learn into practice.
What therapy is not
• Lying down on a couch (You'll have a comfortable chair)
• A magic wand (Therapy is work)
• One person doing all the talking (It's an exchange)
• Being forced to do something (You will make your own choices)
• A waste of time "just talking" (Dialogue is a doorway to discovery and healing)
What is therapy like?
You'll find a comfortable, supportive, and non-threatening atmosphere. You won't be "shoe-horned" into a program or made to complete a generic curriculum. Everything I do will be tailored to address those things of importance to you.
• We will discuss the primary issues you're wrestling with
• We will likely schedule to meet on a weekly basis for about 50 minutes. We may meet together for a series of weeks or months depending on the nature of what we are addressing.
• Occasionally I may ask you to do something outside of therapy, such as read a book, to pay attention to feelings, sensations or responses or to keep records of particular behaviors
• You will want to reflect on what we have talked about and look for ways to apply it in your life during the week.
• You will need to take an active role in using what you learn
Here are some things you can expect from me:
• Compassion, respect, and understanding
• A fresh perspective that will help you see persistent patterns that are contributing to your struggles
• Workable ideas to bring real change
• Practical guidance
What about medication?
If chemical imbalance is a factor, a combination of medication and therapy may be the right course of action. To determine what is best for your situation you may wish to consult with your medical doctor or a competent psychiatrist. Psychologists often work together with your doctor or psychiatrist to coordinate care.
Can I just take a pill and get better?
It is well established that a long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. A medication-only approach would merely treat symptoms. Therapy addresses the root cause.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between client and therapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
There are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
• Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
• If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
• If a client intends to harm himself or herself there may be a need to involve others. First, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if the person is unwilling to cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.