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. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, and, for whatever reason, they aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those abilities are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way–teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, there’s a risk that once you are feeling better you might alienate a friend or family member so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues, but sometimes it can be useful in conjunction with therapy. What medication does is treat the symptoms and help you get some distance from the problems in your life. Our work together is designed to take advantage of that distance and practice new ways of being that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals, therapy is different depending for each individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
I focus on shorter term practices so my general answer is “as little time as possible”. Everyone’s circumstances are unique, and accomplishing your goals depends on your desire for change, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, I would initially work with both of you together. From there, we can determine whether individual sessions make sense.