What can therapy do for me?
Therapy can provide a variety of benefits. Therapists are there to provide levels of support, teach certain skills, and help clients discover new coping strategies for challenges like anxiety, depression, stress, or even creative blocks. You do not need to be undergoing a crisis to find usefulness from a therapist. In fact, if you are simply looking for personal growth in any aspect of your life, you can typically find skills and resources through therapy. Essentially, a therapist offers a different way of looking at things. Perhaps, even a perspective you have not yet considered, which may make it easier to guide you in the right direction, and find the solutions you are pursuing in life.
In order for therapy to be successful, you have to be an active participant in the process. It is about using the skills you learn and integrating them into everyday life that makes a substantial difference.
Still unsure if therapy would be beneficial for you?
A few examples of some common benefits are:
- Identifying your goals and dreams and developing the skills towards achieving them.
- Obtaining the right skills for improving relationships in your life.
- Learning coping skills to ameliorate the challenges you sought relief for through therapy.
- Improving co-parenting skills.
- Developing coping, time-management, and organizational skills.
- Managing difficult areas in your personal life, such as anxiety, anger, stress, depression, etc.
- Creating new patterns of behavior for yourself
- Changing your problem-solving perspective
- Increasing your self-esteem
If I feel as though I can handle matters on my own, is therapy really necessary?
Everyone experiences challenges of some kind throughout their life. Some individuals can maneuver them easier than others, however, it is greatly beneficial to have additional support and understanding. Therapy is in fact ideal for people who understand themselves enough to realize they can benefit from additional help. Realizing that your life is not necessarily in the place where you want it to be is insightful. Taking the steps to change is something to be incredibly proud of accomplishing. You are taking the first step down an incredible path that can lead to long-lasting benefits for the rest of your life.
What makes people attend therapy in the first place? How do I know if it is the right decision for me?
Everyone has different motivations for seeking therapy, whether they are going through a significant life change, a specific event like divorce, or are simply not handling stressful situations ideally. Integrating therapy into your life can assist with specific situations, and personal issues as well. Depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and even low self-esteem are common reasons to seek help.
Therapy is clearly a personal decision. If you take a look at your life, and your desire is to make a change, it is likely that some form of therapy would be a great benefit.
What can I expect from therapy?
Just like the reasons for therapy are different for everyone, most people can expect different experiences. Therapy is completely individually-focused, which is why everyone benefits in a different fashion. Your life, history, experiences, and any relevant insights will be important to the specific discussions, but in a very personal and individualized manner. Sometimes therapy can be focused on a specific need, in which case it is a ‘short term’ solution. While in other cases, many people seek therapy on a weekly basis, simply in search of more personal growth.
Therapy is not a spectator sport. Your participation is an essential component of achieving your goals. The more active you are in the process, the more beneficial the results. It is a practice in everyday living, in which you use the skills you learn from the session, and apply it to your daily life. Therefore, it is important to be emotionally prepared to make and apply those changes to your life.
How should one consider medication vs. psychotherapy?
While medication has been proven to help with many different conditions, it has also been established time and again, that medication is simply not enough. Medication often treats the symptoms of a problem, without addressing the contributing factors which led to the problem, which is why therapy is an essential component of the healing process. The decision to take psychotropic medications or not, is a highly personal one, and your personal wishes will be honored. If during the course of treatment, you decide you might benefit from medications, I will refer you to an appropriate provider.
People are turning more and more to holistic and natural alternatives in lieu of modern medicine to treat mental, physical, and spiritual issues. I fully support supplemental alternative options you might explore to improve your well-being.
Do the topics in each therapy session remain private?
There is virtually nothing more important in therapy than confidentiality. As with any doctor/patient agreement, your privacy is of the utmost importance. A good therapist understands the vulnerability and openness of a client in order to genuinely benefit from therapy. Therefore, it requires significant trust, and that will develop over time. Make sure your therapist offers a Confidentiality Agreement before you begin your sessions, typically called “Informed Consent.”
If you would like to have your therapist share anything important with your other healthcare providers, it can be done only with your written consent. Nothing you share during the course of your sessions will be shared with anyone else, absent the rare exceptions of suspected abuse of any kind (including child protection), or if the therapist has any reason to believe their client may hurt themselves or others. These exceptions, however rare, are a matter of compulsory ethical requirements and sometimes a matter of legal obligation.