Frequently Asked Questions
What is therapy and how can therapy help me?
You may see therapy referred to as counseling or psychotherapy; they all mean just about the same thing. Each person has different issues and goals for therapy, so therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life as well as things that have happened in your past.
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, grief, and stress management. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem and help you discover your own solutions. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Gaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals, and your values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems or resolve issues
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
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. I actually believe that people who ask for help and know when they need help are the strongest people out there. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason aren't working right now. Problems can feel overwhelming and in our work together, I’ll help you implement positive change into your life.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
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 confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.”
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 goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy. I am not a medical doctor and unable to prescribe or provide medical advice on any medications.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, I cannot predict how long it can take. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the reasons that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term or long-term. It is most common to schedule regular, weekly sessions then we will schedule sessions less frequently as needed.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help myself?
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 one session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you apply what you learn in session to your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a certain book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
Is counseling confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. If you tell me of any unreported child or elder abuse, I am required by law to report this information. If you threaten to harm yourself or harm someone else, I am required to disclose this information. My goal is to keep you and others safe.