Q. How does one know when it is the right time to seek therapy?
A. More than likely, since you are reading this, it typically means that the time is near. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Do I struggle with anxiety, depression, addictions, jealousy, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, destructive behaviors, headaches, digestive problems, back pain, and fatigue. Or does obsessional thinking about a person, relationship, career or past event take up too much mental real estate? Most problems that people come to therapy with are related to one or more of these questions.
Q. What if I am uncertain about starting therapy?
A. It might help to simply come in and talk. After discussing your questions and concerns you may get a better sense of whether or not to continue.
Q. What is Psychotherapy?
A. Psychotherapy is a talking treatment where you will be encouraged to talk about your day to day inner and outer world. It is about having a place to speak about your secret self. Psychotherapy is the general name for treatments designed to heal emotional and physical suffering through talking. Psychotherapy typically involves the client and therapist meeting weekly, during which they explore the client’s issues, the emotions and beliefs surrounding them, the origins of conflicts, and the ways they are manifesting today and in current relationships. Alternative views of the world and options of how to deal with life circumstances are often identified and practiced.
Q. What are the goals?
A. The goals of therapy are:
• Increasing self-awareness and depth of experience.
• Identifying and possibly changing long-standing patterns of relating to others or how one functions in the world.
• Learning tools to manage one’s feelings, in effort to be comfortable and at peace with oneself, feeling confident in one’s ability to handle life’s challenges.
•Improving confidence, self-esteem and decision making.
Q. How does the process of psychotherapy work?
The therapist and the client meet and begin talking about the client’s main concerns. The therapist listens carefully, and typically asks in depth questions in order to fully understand what the client is experiencing. Sometimes people are not sure of where to begin or of how to describe their situations. When this happens, the therapist helps to guide the discussion, making sure the client reports only that information that he or she feels comfortable discussing at that time (often clients talk more openly after they have had a chance to get to know the therapist better which can take several weeks.) As time progresses, the client and therapist talk more and more openly about the client’s concerns. As a result, issues that have been buried for a long time come to the surface which can free a person up. Strategies are also developed that help the client to feel better and/or to function in more healthy and in a balanced way.
Q. What is the difference between counseling and psychotherapy?
A. Psychotherapy and counseling are often used interchangeably. While they are similar, there are some distinct differences. Typically a counselor is an advisor and involves two people working together to solve a problem. Counseling is used in conjunction with forms of advice giving such as financial planning or spiritual guidance. In the context of mental health, counseling is generally used to describe a relatively brief treatment. Psychotherapy however is typically a longer treatment focusing more on gaining insight into physical and emotional problems and is focused on the patient’s thought processes. Sometimes there is a bit of overlap between the two. A therapist may counsel specific situations. Generally speaking psychotherapy requires more skill than simple counseling.
Q. How long does therapy usually take?
A. It depends on your specific situation. Some start feeling better right away after just a few weeks however for others it may take longer. The length of time depends on your goals, your history, the types of problems, and quality of the client-therapist relationship. Also, your ability to engage in the process during session and out of the session is a factor. Some schedule appointments weekly and some come two times a week. So there are several variables. What is most important is one’s motivation for feeling better.
Q. What if I have more questions?
A. Please do not hesitate to call (917) 842-7944.