Frequently Asked Questions
No, seeking counseling does not make you weak, however, it is 100% normal to feel hesitant about making that initial call to start therapy. Many people feel nervous, self-conscious, or downright ashamed about “what it means to need therapy.” Many of us grew up hearing and believing that therapy was for ‘other’ people and that the need for therapy means that you are beyond help. This statement is one of the greatest myths of therapy. Simply put, therapy is a tool. It is one of many tools designed to aid a person in navigating everyday challenges in life. Many people who choose to attend therapy find that they take away some valuable self-discoveries, while others leave feeling more confident about how in interact in their relationships with others. All in all, therapy is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’, and we work hard to tailor our approach to fit your specific needs as they arise during our time together.
There can be great comfort found in talking to someone you already know, however, therapists have the professional training and experience to work with various problems sets from an array of perspectives. As licensed therapists, we can offer a level of support that fosters and encourages development of new skills and prompts insight and perspective on your part. We can also provide feedback as you desire and will offer a safe and nonjudgmental presence with each session you attend. You would not have to worry about someone else’s opinions being pushed on you, or being told what to do in a given situation. Furthermore, therapy is confidential (with few limits). Therapists are bound by laws that are in place to protect your privacy as a client. There are few relationships in life where strict confidentiality is guaranteed. When talking with friends or family members about personal problems, the risk of disclosure of your problems to outside people is present – even when loved ones mean no harm. This can have negative effects on relationships.
While medication treats various mental health symptoms, it is not designed to explore and treat foundational issues. Therapy, however, is. Therapy helps a person adopt new strategies for managing recurring life challenges and accomplish personal goals. Medication can be useful, but is often needed with the support of talk therapy as well.
We are able to tailor our approach to fit your specific needs. The first session of therapy is one hour long, and subsequent sessions are 45-50 minutes. In our time together, we can discuss this further and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the therapy process. Some people come to therapy with the intention to work through a specific problem affecting the present. Others come to work through long-standing issues stemming from earlier life experiences. There are different kinds of therapy best tailored for specific kinds of issues, however, we find that therapy is most effective when a client receives it regularly. Most clients begin by attending therapy once per week. When they begin to feel better in managing their most challenging problems, they sometimes decide to come in once every two weeks or as needed. We encourage you to approach therapy as a process and investment in yourself. A large part of your successful outcomes will also be related to how able you are to participate and remain committed to your goals.
We believe that true therapy takes place from the time you leave my office to the time you return. This means that most of the work we will do will translate in some way to various aspects of your personal life. Your dedication is particularly crucial to meeting goals you have. The time you spend on and with yourself outside of our time together is likely the greatest help towards therapy. This includes completing homework or other therapeutic activities (such as reading) outside of your therapy sessions.
When it comes to couple’s therapy, it is frequent that one of you is more motivated than the other to start the process. However, if you would both like to work with the same therapist, we can begin therapy with the two of you together. Please note: when working with couples, we hold a strict “no secrets policy.” This means that we will not hold secret information of one of you from the other within the context of couple’s therapy.
Some people decide that they would like to continue working with the therapist individually once they have finished couple’s therapy. Should you decide this is right for you, the therapist could only work with one of you. Due to potential trust issues, it is not helpful to begin couple’s therapy after individual therapy with the same therapist.
Ultimately, your therapist will provide recommendations as to the type of therapy that is likely to be the most beneficial to both of you should couple’s therapy not be the appropriate fit to address current problems. Sometimes, individual therapy is a more appropriate treatment to treat relationships rather than couple’s therapy. Your therapist will discuss more of this with you.