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Common Questions

Why do people seek therapy?

People come into therapy for many reasons. Some come because there are problems in their relationships with a spouse or child (the same old fight keeps occurring over and over again), some need to adjust to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When a person's normal ways of coping are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support and positive solutions through problem-solving skills, and finding better ways to cope with depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are very courageous because they willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.

 What can I expect in a therapy session?

During sessions we will talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. It is helpful if you give some thought to what you would like to discuss each session. While we are talking,  I will also contribute my thoughts and suggestions based on my 25+ years of professional experience.  Therapy often helps clients think about their situations in new ways so they can improve what is bothering them.   A typical session lasts 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Usually weekly sessions are best, but people who are in crisis or extreme distress may want or need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes.  During the time between sessions, it is beneficial to reflect on the therapy and to try the new approaches we have discussed.  At times, you may be asked to practice a skill, read a relevant book, or keep a journal.  Therapy works best if you are an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions. Also, you are free to decide how many sessions you would like to have.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understand, but usually they receive the most benefit from learning skills and new ways to approach their situation. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Gaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Find new ways to reduce your stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures in constructive ways
  • Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
  • Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

 What if I am unclear about my goals are for therapy?

It may take a few sessions before your goals are clarified, and during the course of therapy, your goals may change.  I am here to work with you as a team to identify and to focus on what will bring you a greater satisfaction in your relationships and  your life.  
 
Is therapy confidential?

The confidentiality of what is discussed in therapy is important because it gives a basis of trust to come in and talk freely about what is going on in your situation. In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist, and Information is not disclosed without the client's written permission.  The only exceptions are the ones by law involving certain safety issues, such as child abuse.  I would be happy to clarify those exceptions on our first visit.