New to therapy?
Whether you have come here on your own or you have been sent here by someone else, I hope that this page of information helps you with your decision to seek counseling. For many people the decision to seek professional counseling gets postponed because of concrete reasons like money or time. For others, the delay can be more about fear, denial, or avoidance. Regardless of what has kept you from therapy in the past, I am glad that you are taking the time to learn more.
Do I really need a therapist?
I believe that almost everybody could benefit from a little counseling. Who couldn't use a quiet, safe, confidential place to explore the tumultuous events of life? Many people feel they need to tentatively try out therapy first before they dive in, and that is perfectly okay and normal. I strongly recommend "shopping" for a therapist because the success of therapy hinges on having a comfortable working relationship with your therapist.
Does therapy work?
Yes, but it is different for everyone. For some, relief is immediate and lasting. For others, counseling takes time. For most people though, therapy seeps in slowly and silently until things just seem better and you just feel more satisfied. I often hear that it is friends or family that notice first, saying "You seem happy" or "You seem different."
How does therapy work?
You are surrounded by your own life, living in it, in such a way that sometimes it can be difficult to think and feel beyond the confines of your own world. Put simply, your life is all that you know. As a counselor, I use my experience and training to add an outside perspective to the issues in your life with the goal of making life more satisfying for you.
What does a client do in therapy?
The most important assets for you to bring to counseling are honesty, patience, and consistency. Therapy works best when you come every week at the same time for many weeks in a row. This may appear to be a simple or daunting task depending on your individual point of view, but for most people, trying to be patient, honest, and consistent can be difficult. That alone can begin a process of growth and change.
The Cost of Therapy
The goals of psychotherapy are bold and complex, with results that are invaluable and permanent. Reaching these goals requires an investment of time, money, patience, and honesty. If you have the courage to stay in therapy and take the time to develop the therapeutic relationship, you will find the emotional rewards immeasurable.
The Value of Therapy
The usefulness of each therapy session increases with time. Therapy starts slow. This is one of the most disheartening facts for first-time client because everyone wants help now. This brings us back to patience. It took you awhile to grow into the person you are now and it can take time to make the changes that you covet.
A Definition of Therapy
According to renowned psychiatrist Dr. Nancy McWilliams: "The goals of therapy are (1) understanding oneself at the deepest level, (2) bringing into consciousness the unknown aspects of the self, and (3) promoting the most thorough possible acceptance of one's full humanity." Neither she nor I invented therapy but I watch it work everyday and for some reason, the process of doing these three things makes most humans feel better. Therapy has also been called the "talking cure" because talking helps humans heal.
Should I get started?
Yes. Most people usually seek therapy only after an issue has become truly serious. It is the same reason that people generally do not go to the doctor when they feel healthy. We are all starting to realize that preventative care plays a crucial part in healthy living. With this in mind, I suggest that everybody should create a relationship with a counselor if not just to be better prepared to handle the inevitable challenges of life.
How do I get started?
Give me a call. Therapy has changed a lot over the years. It is more accessible and normal than ever. Let's have a healing conversation that will help you feel better about your life.
If this is your first time in therapy, I recommend that you plan to come in at least 4 weeks in a row in order to give yourself a chance to open up, get comfortable, and begin to feel how the process works to improve your well-being.
My warmest regards,
Marriage and Family Therapist
Learn more about my approach to couples counseling or contact me to setup a first appointment.