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. Your clinician will 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 that while your friend or family member might be able to listen effectively and offer you good advice, your clinician will not be emotionally involved and will therefore be less biased, and will have the training and experience necessary to help you professionally, using clinically proven techniques. 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. Working with your clinician will help you 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?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. We tailor our therapeutic approaches to meet your specific needs.
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.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
We are glad that you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, you might only see your clinician for a session once or twice a week. It’s the work you do outside of your 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 and both you and your partner are interested in getting professional services, your clinician might complete an initial assessment with the two of you together, or two separate initial assessments, depending on the circumstances, and the clinician’s preferred approach. Your clinician would determine the best route to take in treatment given you and your partners’ specific concerns and personal issues. This might involve separate individual sessions starting out, and then couples’ therapy afterward, or starting with the two of you together; it all depends on the circumstances, and where each of you are at in the relationship, as well as individually.