How can therapy help me?Participating in therapy can be beneficial in so many ways. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and coping strategies for a wide variety of issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, 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 benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of 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 communication and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and building self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while people may have successfully navigated other difficulties, there’s nothing wrong with seeking extra support. In fact, therapy is for individuals who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand and that is admirable. Therapy can provide the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, it will differ depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to share your concerns during the first session as well as begin to create goals for your time in therapy. We will then make a plan to address those concerns and each session should bring you closer to meeting that goal. Once goals are reached, then we discuss if you would like to set new goals or “graduate” from therapy. While counseling is a conversation, the goal is living a full & rich life independently outside the counseling office.
Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be solution focused or longer term in order to deal with more complex patterns in your life. We can also develop a plan to address personal development or life transitions. And know that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.
Beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, a therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. Every Licensed Professional Counselor should provide a written copy of their professional disclosure agreement prior to beginning therapy, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called "informed consent."
Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission. There are a few exceptions which will be discussed at your first appointment.