Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a counselor as they pursue their own personal exploration, healing, and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is valuable for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by creating greater self-awareness, taking ownership and responsibility, and working towards change and consistent well-being in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, it can still be beneficial to seek out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they are the benefactors from a helping hand, and that is something to be admired as well as an act of courage. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to be willing to change the situation or how you respond to the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, empowering you with the tools you need to maintain healthy boundaries, avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. Thus, creating space and possibility towards expansive well-being and a fulfilling and authentic life.
How can therapy benefit me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management or mismanagement, self-esteem and body image issues, and even 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 and/or collaborate with you to point you in the direction of a solution. The lasting benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you implement the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals, and your values
Developing skills for improving your relationships (to self, others, and the world)
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
Learning new ways to cope with stress, anxiety, fear, and doubt
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones that better serve you
Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family, marriage or your work
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is typical for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty 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 engage the process of what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are generally more willing to take ownership for their life experience as well as responsibility for their actions. They put in effort to make themselves available/willing to work towards self-change, and to create greater awareness in their lives including the dimensions of their strengths and successes. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect, and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
- Support and acceptance regarding the human condition and the challenges of being human in the 21st century
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the most prudent course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. 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. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- 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 to keep them safe.