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. Actually, the exact opposite. It takes a certain strength and insight to know that issues in one’s life have reached a point that goes beyond “handling things on our own.” One of my greatest desires as a helping professional is to erase the stigma that is connected with “seeking help.” We all need help at some point in our lives and there is nothing weak about being in tune with your needs and having the courage to go after a solution. Perhaps a problem seems overwhelming, which can hinder one’s ability to access strengths that may have been previously available. In our work together, we will examine the obstacles that may be blocking your ability to problem solve and tap into your natural gifts to reveal your inner power source toward healing, getting unstuck, changing jobs, leaving an unsafe situation…whatever the need.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
Often people refer to therapists, coaches, mental health professionals as friends whom you pay. The truth lies in the training; the unbiased viewpoint, and objectivity. Many friends and family members may be willing to listen to you but when you need more than a listening ear, I believe that is where the professional makes the difference. In addition to being a shoulder to cry on, someone to whom you can vent, a professional can offer you new, safe coping skills to manage that stress, systems and strategies to help organize those overwhelming tasks, help you look at your situation as an experience and not a failure; all while supporting you through the process from start to finish. A friend and family member, at some point, will need to focus on his or her own life; leaving you to fend for yourself. A therapist will provide ongoing support and see you through the to the end of your crisis, set back, transition.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
In some cases, medication is a viable option, however, medication alone may not be the answer to your difficulties. While medication can treat symptoms, most times, more is required to improve functioning. A medical intervention coupled with real life exploration of the root causes for what is bothering a person can make a world of difference in how one moves through the world. Whether traditional talk therapy or a more eclectic approach, therapeutic interventions can pick up where medications may leave off. If you were a car, I can put fuel into your tank but if no one teaches me to drive you; you still won’t go anywhere.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Well, the first thing is to show up. After that, it is up to you. I work to meet my clients where they are and explore with them where it is they want to go. I tailor my therapeutic approach to adjust to your specific needs. We will walk through this journey together, moving at your pace to reach the goals you will set. A willing attitude, even if that attitude only gets you to the front door, I can work with you to help you find the place that wants to move past that door to search for what you want out of your sessions.
How long will it take?
That is probably the most difficult question of all and the answer is similar to the previous one. Therapy is an individual process, even when done in a group. The journey is yours. One person may only need a few sessions to help them make a decision or get past a block. Others may come for years because their block is clothed in trauma stemming from childhood. So there is no blanket answer for the length of time spent in therapy. I believe the therapeutic process is fluid and organic and signs show up along the way to tell you when it has run its course. It is also an action sport so what you put in will also be a determining factor of when enough is enough.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I’m so glad you asked. The more dedicated you are to get the most out of your sessions, the more you will receive. Your active participation, engagement, openness to healing, growth, challenge, and change are paramount to your success. As we only see one another weekly (unless other arrangements are made), it is the outside work that you bring back to the sessions that will give you the most benefit.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you and your mate are experiencing relationship difficulties, I would initially work you both. Once the couples work has been completed and issues resolved it is possible for me to work with only one of you. To move from individual work into couple’s work with the same therapist could result in potential trust issues which would hinder the therapeutic relationship and taint the outcome of the therapeutic experience for both parties in the relationship.