How can therapy help me and do I really need to come?
There are many ways that therapy can be helpful to people. Therapists can provide support and a safe, confidential, non-judgmental place to share deeply personal issues and conflicts. Therapists can offer problem-solving skills, enhanced coping strategies for issues that include depression, relationship difficulties, anxiety, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, motivational blocks. Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and there is strength in seeking professional support and life guidance when you need it. Therapy can provide long-lasting benefits.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does psychotherapy work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. Confidentiality and trust is an important part of a relationship between a client and a psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with subject matter that can be highly sensitive and personal. At the time of an initial appointment, you will receive a written copy of my confidentiality disclosure agreement, and please know that anything you discuss with me will not be shared with anyone (unless you give me written consent to release any information).
Please know that state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain this confidentiality except for the following situations:
Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to appropriate Child Protection and law enforcement agencies.
If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another.
How long will it take?
Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy is considered a short-term approach with changes and growth that can often be experienced in 12 to 20 sessions. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development. For couples that are interested in getting started in relationship therapy, I recommend reading “Hold Me Tight” (Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love) by Dr. Sue Johnson.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
I would initially work with both of you together. In an initial assessment for couples therapy, both partners come to the session together to discuss concerns. The next sessions are individual assessment sessions to more fully discuss each partner’s view of current relationship stressors. After these initial individual sessions, most of the relationship work is completed together with both partners. In general, couples can expect to share specifics about their relationship history, including strengths in the relationship, how they deal with conflict, understanding how they become disconnected and what their negative cycles of interaction look like upon first coming to sessions. The goal of EFT (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy) is to “foster the creation of a secure bond between partners” and to expand and re-organize emotional responses between partners. EFT strives to create a “shift in partner’s interactional positions” and to “initiate new cycles of interaction” and emotional connection. (www.iceeft.com)