I’ve never talked to a counsellor before. 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 ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to a therapist or my best friend or family?
The difference is that a therapist has the training and experience to offer you a professional service. 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, therapy 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, if 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?
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. Medication treats symptoms while therapy addresses the root of the issue, looking beyond just behavior and teaching strategies that can help you accomplish your goals. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of both medication and therapy is the right course of action.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person comes to therapy with different issues and different goals, therapy will look different for everybody. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress, challenges or any new insights that occur between sessions.
How long will it take?
Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for change, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place. You may want to focus on a specific problem and seek only short term counselling until that problem is resolved or you may want longer term counselling to identify underlying or longstanding patterns that interfere with current functioning. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular weekly or bi-weekly sessions initially, and then space them out as you see progress.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your therapy. Your commitment and active participation will be crucial to your success both in and out of therapy. After all, we only see each other once a week. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in sessions back into your life. So it’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really highlight your ongoing growth and development.