What are some benefits I can receive with therapy?
From support to improving problem-solving skills and coping strategies, counselors are here to help you help yourself. Whether you are looking for personal growth, better relationships, solving marital issues, or managing stress, a good counselor can allow you to renew your approach to life. However, it is important to realize that you will only get out as much as you put in. Your willingness to participate and truly change is what will help you most, and allow you to:
- Have a better understanding of yourself, including goals and values
- Develop relationship skills
- Resolve the concerns that led you here
- Learn new coping techniques for stress or anxiety
- Manage anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improve communication skills
- Change poor behavior patterns
- Discover new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improve self-esteem
- Reflect on life with a caring listener
- Receive different perspectives
- Learn to recognize personal strengths and use them
- Help making difficult decisions
- Help coping with a chronic medical or mental health problem
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy uses psychological techniques to give insight into problems with the goal to treat mental and emotional disorders. I see success as a relief of symptoms, improved behavior, and personal growth for each client.
Is there a difference between therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the most specific of the three. Therapy is often used interchangeably, but it refers to a more general kind of treatment for any illness or disability (like physical therapy for athletes). Counseling is also a generic term, and can be used to describe exchanging ideas or advice (like legal counsel).
How long does psychotherapy take?
Until we see success. Because there is no “one size fits all” procedure to heal each person, the duration of treatment is unpredictable. Your initial consultation might look very similar to others, but this is just because I am trying to get to understand you best. In the months that follow, I encourage my clients to steer away from questions like “Am I fixed?” but instead, as “Am I moving in the right direction?” Although it may seem overused, I truly believe “Psychotherapy is a journey, not a destination.”
Another concern many of my patients have is that the psychotherapy is making them feel worse. Due to the fact that it requires deep examination, you may feel emotions and memories being unsettled that have been dormant for years. However, this is simply part of the journey and you will feel better than ever after these issues have been resolved.
How do I know whether a psychotherapist is the right one for me?
The initial sessions are focused on us getting to know each other. Specifically, I encourage you to assess how comfortable you feel with me and how confident you feel that I understand you. If you feel that your concerns are not being treated seriously and sensitively, you should look for a different psychotherapist. As in any relationship, some people “click” better than others. If you feel that any therapist might not be a good match for you, you should seek referrals and meet with other psychotherapists.
Will I have to talk about things I don’t want to go into?
No. Any good therapist knows that forcing people into anything is ineffective. There may be things that you need to discuss that are difficult, but this is why it is important to establish a trusting relationship with your therapist. Inside this relationship, it will seem easier to share and you can whenever you are ready.
What goes on in a psychotherapy session?
It depends! For most adults, sessions involve talking. For children and adolescents, sessions may involve play and/or games. In my approach, clients are encouraged to enter into a trusting relationship with the me. Because this involves different things with different people, I avoid having things that need to happen inside a session. Instead, you can choose what you would like to talk about, and in the end a partnership between client and therapist will bring out the material that needs to be addressed.