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 courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. Some of the well adjusted, high functioning people in the world benefit from therapy.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. 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, counseling 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, and 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 can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Don’t get me wrong, there’s times medication saves lives and is absolutely appropriate to treat conditions like Bipolar disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and other serious issues. Other times, medications are only scratching the surface of treating your symptoms and coming with a host of their own side effects.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. If you focus on being honest, open, and willing to try something new, I’m confident you will benefit from our sessions.
How long will it take?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question. I’d say most clients get what they need from therapy in a two or three months of weekly sessions. Those that choose Accelerated Resolution Therapy (especially for PTSD and Anxiety) usually see significant changes in about 3-5 sessions. It can be beneficial to follow ART with traditional talk therapy to reinforce the changes that have taken place. I’m open to seeing people long, but that is not always necessary.
riI want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
The best thing you can do is show up with willingness and the motivation to recover. It’s ok to be nervous or skeptical that therapy will work for you; but you do have to be willing to “do the work.”