What can therapy do for me?
There are a variety of benefits that can come from therapy, and they tend to be individualized. Therapists are here to provide levels of support, teach certain skills, and help clients discover new coping strategies for things like trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, career advances/changes or even creative blocks; to name a few. You don’t need to have some kind of ‘major disorder’ to find usefulness from a therapist. In fact, if you’re simply looking for personal growth in any aspect of your life, you can typically find the skills and resources through therapy to help with family problems, marital issues, workplace challenges, relationships and more. Essentially, a therapist offers a different way of looking at things – perhaps a perspective you haven’t yet considered, which makes it easier to point you in the right direction, and find the solutions you’re looking for in life.
Of course, therapists can’t just ‘fix’ everything on their own. It’s about using those resources you learn in your everyday life, that can really turn things around. Still unsure about what therapy could do for you? Let’s take a look a few examples of some common benefits:
– Grasping a deeper understanding of who you are
– Identifying your goals and dreams
– Obtaining the right skills for bettering your life’s relationships
– Learning resources to put an end to the challenges that brought you to therapy
– Managing challenge areas in your personal life, like anger, stress, depression, etc.
– Creating new patterns of behavior for yourself
– Changing your problem-solving perspective
-Creating a harmonious balance within your life
– Boosting your self-esteem and confidence
– Finding ways to be and feel happier
If I feel as though I can handle my challenges on my own, is therapy really necessary?
There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t experiences challenges of some kind throughout their life. Some people are able to get through them better than others, and even then, it’s never a bad idea to have additional support and understanding when it comes to the obstacles you’ve gone through or simply just someone to talk to. In all actuality, therapy is ideal for people who understand themselves and for those who don’t understand themselves. My belief is that we can always have someone to talk to with the big or little things that we go through in our daily lives. Noticing that your life isn’t necessarily where you want it to be can be a big realization and admittance; however, taking steps to change that for the better is something to be incredibly proud of.
You’re taking the first step down an incredible path that can lead to long-lasting benefits not just for the rest of your life, but for generations to come. The skills learned in therapy can even help when challenges come up again.
What makes people go to therapy in the first place? How do I know if it’s the right decision for me?
While everyone’s reasons for coming to therapy are quite different, whether they’re going through a big life change, or a specific event like a separation or divorce, or just aren’t dealing with stressful situations ideally. Sometimes, the assistance of therapy can not only help with specific situations, but personal challenges as well. Depression, anxiety, relationship issues, low self-esteem and even shame are often common reasons to seek out help. You may start out looking for one thing, and find on your journey that you can gain so much more through learning the right skills, and having the right kind of positive encouragement.
In terms of making the ‘right decision’ for yourself, of course therapy is a personal decision, but if you take a look at your life, and your desire is to make a change that starts from within, it’s likely that some form of psychotherapy could be of great benefits to you.
What can I expect from therapy?
Just like the reasons for therapy are different for everyone, most people can expect different experiences. The good news is that therapy is completely individually-focused, which is why everyone can get something different out of it. Generally; your life, your story, your history, 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’s a ‘short term’ solution, while in other cases, many people go to therapy regularly, each week, to simply look for more personal growth.
Again, therapy isn’t meant to be some kind of ‘quick fix’ where you simply sit back and listen. It is a participatory experience. The more you involve yourself in the process, the better results you’re bound to see. It’s a practice in everyday living, in which you take what you learn from the session, and apply it to your life. Therefore, it’s really important to be mentally prepared to make those changes in your life, and desire new perspectives on things.
How should one consider medication VS. psychotherapy?
While medication has been proven to help with many different disorders, it has also been proven that time and time again, it simply isn’t enough. Medication often treats the symptoms of a problem, without getting to the root of solving it…which is where therapy comes in. The decision to take psychotropic medications or not, is a highly personal one, and one where your personal wishes will be honored. If in the course of treatment, you decided you might benefit from medications, I will refer you out to an appropriate provider.
People are turning more and more to holistic and natural alternatives to modern medicine to treat mental, physical and spiritual issues. I fully support alternative options as such essential oils, chiropractic and massage care, yoga, diet/exercise and nutrition options, and other means you might explore to improve your well being. I can refer you to professional holistic providers in the area for further consultation.
Do the topics in each therapy session remain private?
There is 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 that must come from each client in order to really get through, so therapy itself can take a lot of trust, and that needs to be developed over time. As a licensed professional counselor I offer a confidentiality agreement before you begin our sessions, typically called ‘informed consent.’ It is your choice if you’d like to have me share anything significant with your other healthcare providers, but this can only be done with your written consent. Nothing you share in our sessions is to be told to anyone else, with the rare exceptions of suspected abuse of any kind (including child protection and elder abuse), or if the therapist has any reason to believe their client may hurt themselves, or others. These circumstances are a matter of ethical procedures, and sometimes, even the law at times. I take immense pride in ensuring my clients confidentiality to the fullest.