Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people engage in therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing issues, and other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a serious illness or life changing event. Many people seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated other difficulties you've faced, there is nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when needed. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to recognize and potentially avoid the things that cause you difficulty, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, life threatening illness, grief, or stress management. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the possible benefits of therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and 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 in your family or personal life
- Improving self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions, and to schedule a series of weekly sessions, with each session lasting around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to consider what has been discussed and integrate it into your daily life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between sessions. People seeking therapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- New perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor or a psychiatrist, you can determine what is best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. I am required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, I am required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. I will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual is not cooperative, additional measures may need to be taken, such as hospitalization.