There are many reasons persons seek the support of psychotherapy, ranging from anxiety or depression, to difficulties in creating and sustaining stable and nurturing bonds with others, to fears of expressing themselves authentically or trusting others. Some seek the assistance of psychotherapy to understand anger or conflicts with family members, spouses or other persons with who they are engaged romantically, collegially or as friends or lingering influences from their early lives that affected them adversely. Others seek the help of psychotherapy to develop new ways of responding to circumstances that have been habitually problematic, to develop more capacity for intimacy or to experience more joy and contentment in their lives. Sometimes a particular experience, such as a separation, divorce or a turbulent disagreement, or a milestone, such as marrying or becoming a parent, may also precipitate a decision to seek counseling; at other times a long-standing and vague sense of feeling lost, confused and disengaged from others. The reasons as are vast and as varied as people themselves, but most persons share a desire for a more gratifying experience of their lives.
According to a study conducted through the auspices of Consumer Reports, psychotherapy has been proven to be as effective as medication in helping to relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It has also been shown to be useful in assisting persons to:
- Develop more psychological awareness and insight
- Learn to communicate more effectively
- Learn to resolve both internal and interpersonal conflicts
- Manage, reduce or relieve symptoms of emotional distress
- Develop more social, relational or vocational functioning
- Pursue personal growth and development
- Reconstruct their lives in the aftermath of trauma and abuse.
Medication can often be helpful in supporting a person to feel a greater sense of well-being. If you are suffering from persistent or debilitating depression, anxiety or other troubling symptoms, and are interested in exploring whether medication might be helpful. If you are interested in exploring this option, your therapist will either refer you to a psychiatrist for a consultation, or help you in obtaining a referral through other means. If you wish to consider other methods of symptom management, such as the use of alternative remedies available through non-allopathic sources, such as homeopathy, they may also have recommendations of referrals.
Most sessions are weekly and 50 minutes in length, however your therapist may suggest meeting longer or more frequently depending on your needs and goals.
The length of therapy is dependent on many factors, including your goals, how frequently and consistently you attend sessions, your level of motivation for change, and the type of concerns or issues you are addressing in therapy. In general, recent situational stresses or problems can be addressed in fewer sessions than longer-standing issues, or situations involving trauma or abuse. Of course, therapy is a collaborative process, and we encourage you to share your preferences with your therapist. Even longer-term goals can be pursued in “chapters” if you prefer.
Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. To derive the most from psychotherapy, attend your sessions regularly. If you are struggling with excess alcohol or drug consumption, it is generally recommended that you abstain from substance use at least 24 hours before your sessions.
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.
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.
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.
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs
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.
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.
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.