Do I need therapy?
A lot of people get hung up on the question of whether or not they "need" therapy. I get it! Therapy is a time commitment and a money commitment. Additionally, seeking help for mental health (or really, seeking help in general!) has been stigmatized and can be really hard for many people. If you've been feeling stuck with a problem for any amount of time, therapy could be key in creating new habits or new patterns for yourself or your relationship. Plus, it doesn't have to be lengthy; while many issues can be dealt with in therapy in 8-12 sessions, some clients have found the help they needed in just a few sessions. Call me for a free 15 minute phone consultation and we can better assess whether therapy could be helpful for you.
How long does therapy take?
Often, around 8-12 sessions. I occasionally have past clients contact me for a quick "tune-up" or some brief help (one or two sessions) on a particular issue. I have other clients who choose to continue therapy long-term because of the benefits they are getting, although over time they may choose to meet less regularly (once or twice a month, for example). The point is, therapy is flexible and your needs may change over time, so don't be afraid of a therapy "commitment." There is no commitment! If therapy is working for you, you can keep coming. When it stops being necessary, you can move on!
How can therapy help me?
Inviting a trained professional to be a temporary part of your inner circle can have huge benefits. For example, there are many topics that are taboo to talk about with colleagues, neighbors, or even friends. Therapy provides a venue for these conversations, and just being able to talk about something that is weighing on you can provide a huge relief. I am also able to help you acquire tools to confront challenges in a new way, so you don't have to feel stuck in old patterns, either as an individual or with loved ones.
What happens during therapy?
Therapy may be different depending on the goals for therapy and the needs of the person(s). Generally, the first session is spent understanding the different perspectives and desired outcomes of everyone in the room. Building rapport between clients and therapist is one of the most important indicators in whether therapy will be effective. Goals can be reassessed in an ongoing way throughout therapy, but this is the focus of the initial session. Throughout the next several sessions, I work kind of like a coach, helping couples to share with one another and respond in a way that is different from how they have done so in the past. This is key to the therapeutic process, because the way couples and family members interact around certain issues is the thing that will repeat itself again and again over time, regardless of what the specific "issue" is. At first, a lot of coaching will be required, but over time, people begin to self-correct and find the ability to respond differently to one another without quite as much intervention from me. With an individual, this process will look slightly different but should help the person to gain new tools for confroning issues they are dealing with. The last session or two are spent verbalizing changes and making plans for maintaining them.
Medication vs. Therapy
As a therapist, I cannot prescribe medication but I am willing to collaborate with you and your family physician or psychiatrist to make sure your treatment choices are the most well-informed they possibly can be.
Will our conversations remain confidential?
Confidentiality is a key component of therapy. What you discuss in a session will not be shared with anyone else. By law, I can’t release this information without your written consent, except in the following situations:
- I suspect there is past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults or elders.
- I suspect the client is in danger of harming themselves or has threated to harm another person.