How can therapy help me?
There are many benefits from participating in therapy. I can provide support, problem-solving skills, and effective coping skills for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. You may also find that psychotherapy, counseling, and coaching services can be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. I can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution.
The benefits you will obtain from therapy will depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from 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 therapy
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 of origin or relationships
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in your life and making a commitment to change your situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the skills you need to avoid triggers, change damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. You may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. You may 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 you with much needed encouragement and help with skills to get you through these periods. Or you may be at a point where you are ready to learn more about yourself or want to be more effective with your goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy, counseling, and coaching are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your 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 sessions with your therapist (weekly, every 2 weeks).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of 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 outside of therapy to support your process, such as
People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
reading a pertinent book
journaling on specific topics
noting particular behaviors
taking action on your goals
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your therapist you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
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. I will provide you with a written copy of my 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.
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 threated to harm another person.