Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, & while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they could use a helping hand, & that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life & making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits & support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, & overcome whatever challenges you face.

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists (Counselors) can provide support, problem-solving skills, & enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues & creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists (counselors) can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, & the hassles of daily life. Therapists (Counselors) 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 & put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include the following:

· Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals & 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 & anxiety
· Managing anger, grief, depression, & other emotional pressures
· Improving communications & listening skills
· Changing old behavior patterns & developing new ones
· Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
· Improving your self-esteem & boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like?

Every therapy session is unique & caters to each individual & their specific goals, as well as, depends on the training & speciality of the therapist. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues & concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around sixty 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 process what has been discussed & integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during & between the sessions. People seeking therapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change & create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:  

· Compassion, respect & understanding
· Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns & negative feelings
· Real strategies for enacting positive change
· Effective & proven techniques along with practical guidance

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and counselor. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule.

Exceptions include the following:
· Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
· If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
· If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.

What happens in a first therapy session?

The first therapy session is important for determining several things. You & your therapist will take time to get to know each other (e.g., sharing background & beginning to defining your goals). It is a good opportunity for your therapist to acquaint you with the therapy process, and for you to ask questions about the process. It’s not at all unusual for clients to feel a little nervous coming to the first appointment, but by the end of the session you should feel much more comfortable. It is important that you & your therapist assess whether they are the appropriate person to work with you, & that you believe you can work well together. By the end of the first session, your therapist will provide feedback & suggestions for your future work together.

What is the therapist’s role in sessions?

The primary role of a therapist is to empower their clients. They act as a guide & facilitator, supporting you in finding your own answers & solutions. They are there to ask effective questions & provide direction & guidance where appropriate. They will help you to establish & achieve your goals, sometimes in unexpected ways, through supporting growth & change, & encouraging the use of strengths & resources already present.

What is my role in sessions?

You will benefit the most from therapy if you are open & honest, & are motivated & committed to getting help. You may find that therapy at times becomes difficult or stressful; this is often true when dealing with issues & change. At those times & as long as therapy is still helping, your role is to stick with it & keep trying. Be sure to speak up if you have any questions or concerns that come up along the way with the therapy process. You will find that your therapist is receptive to open communication & feedback.

What if my partner/spouse/family won’t participate?

Not all family members have to take part in sessions for therapy to be effective. Of course, it’s better if all affected parties are willing to participate, but they often get involved in therapy later if they see your motivation & commitment. If your loved ones still will not join therapy, come anyway. Therapy with one person still can be effective in making changes that can have positive effects on everyone around you.

What hours are you available?

Hours are available by appointment only; however, sometimes same day appointments are available. We offer daytime & evening sessions, & sometimes weekend sessions. Please contact me for more information and/or to schedule an appointment. Please leave a brief message, & we will return all messages as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours. First-time appointments are typically scheduled within one week of the initial call or sooner if needed. If you are calling about a psychiatric emergency, call 911.

If you have additional questions and concerns, don’t be afraid to contact us.