If I go to therapy, I’m afraid I’ll be there for years.
We set goals in the beginning and although those goals might change over the course of our work together, I will check in with you periodically about whether you feel progress is happening. But as much as I will get to know you, I have to leave the decision about whether you’ve reached your goals up to you. No need to worry, I am not a “years long” kind of therapist.
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, that for whatever reason isn’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 strengths 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, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person 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. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Your success will often be determined not by what we do in sessions, but what you do between sessions. More often than not, I will assign tasks to do between sessions. It is this practice that will contribute to the quality of your life.
My sessions are mostly talk interspersed sometimes with a mindfulness infused exercise. My goal in therapy is not to help you gain insight, but to live a happier life.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
Statistically, when two members of a couple go into individual therapy, it can make the prognosis for success worse. I like to begin with both members of the couple and see where it takes us. Sometimes I will want to meet with each member individually. When I do, I make very clear what is and what is not confidential. If I think it is essential for the other to know, I will encourage that person to reveal to their partner what they had revealed to me.
If, during the course of therapy one person wants to go into individual therapy, I am happy to treat the other. But it is unlikely that I will be able to treat the couple any more, so I would refer them to another therapist.