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, it takes strength to ask for help. Everyone needs help now and then when they aren’t coping well. Asking for help doesn’t mean that you don’t have strengths, just that they aren’t sufficient for the problems that you are facing right now. When you are dealing with too big a problem or too many at once, it can feel overwhelming and making coping difficult. Working together, we will figure out how to strengthen your coping skills and reduce the stress on you.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is that your friends and family care about you and want to support you, but they don’t have the training and experience, or the distance, to help you really change. I can help you approach your situation in a new way to increase your coping ability. Teach you new skills, provide a different perspective, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself.

Also, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about anyone else in your life finding out what you said or having to protect them by editing yourself. You will be free to share all that you think and feel in a safe space, free of judgement, and I will be there to help you if you get overwhelmed.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be an important part of treatment for some people, but it cannot fix everything. Medication treats biological imbalances and symptoms. Therapy allows us to work on problems with a more comprehensive approach. We will work on exploring the roots of the issue, changing your thoughts and behaviors to support health, and leaning strategies for coping with stressful events more effectively.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Each person has different issues and goals for therapy, so sessions will be different depending on the individual. In general, we talk about your life – thoughts, feelings, behaviors, relationships, and symptoms and work on getting you feeling better. I focus on helping you understand what is getting in the way of you feeling your best and increasing your internal coping and external supports for better health. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs and we can talk more about what it will look like for you in the free consultation session.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to answer in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s problems and circumstances are unique to them. The length of therapy is determined by your goals, level of coping skills, commitment to attending sessions and doing homework, and life circumstances. Again, this is an area that we can discuss in more detail in the free consultation session for your individual situation.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

Your active participation in and out of session will speed up and enhance the process. After all, we generally only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development and improve your coping skills. I’ll give you suggestions at the end of each session to continue your work in-between sessions.

My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?

There are many ways to approach relationship issues. I work with individuals to help them understand what they are bringing to the relationship and make changes to make improve the quality of the relationship and their life satisfaction. When helpful, I refer my clients to an expert in relationship therapy to facilitate communication and direct changes with both partners. Often having each partner working in individual therapy and a separate therapist working with the couple together, leads to the most effective results. Establishing with an individual therapist first, can ensure you are ready for the intensity of couples work and  have a safe place to process what may be stirred up in the couples sessions.