What to Expect From Therapy
Taking the first steps to contact a new therapist, whether you’ve sought help before or not, can be very stressful and even a little bit scary. It takes a lot of courage to pick up the telephone, speak to a helping professional, and schedule an appointment. I often tell clients that finding the right therapist is a bit like dating – you may have to try a few times before you get it right, and even someone who is wonderful may not be the right fit for you.
For this reason and many others, beginning therapy is both an act of courage and a commitment to take steps towards positive change. When matched with a therapist who is a good fit, you may feel some relief from just one session. This relief stems from the hope that you have found someone who can help you, as well as the confidence that comes from taking the first step to make things better.
Because therapy involves making changes in your life or outlook, it may be uncomfortable at times. However, you may also reap a great number of positive benefits, including a better understanding of yourself and the motives of others, an improvement in romantic, platonic, and professional relationships, finding resolution or meaning in the issues that led you to seek therapy, developing skills necessary to deal with anger, depression, grief, jealousy, loneliness, and other unpleasant feelings, and increasing your self-esteem.
The clients who I have found benefit most from therapy are those who are motivated, engaged in sessions, willing to do therapy-related work outside of sessions, and at a point in their lives where they are ready. If this is or could be you, contact me for a free telephone consultation!
My Counseling Philosophy
I pull techniques from the buffet of existing therapies in order to create a sampler platter that I believe works well for my clients. Following is some information about the main therapeutic modalities and approaches that I employ:
- Strength-Based: I believe that everyone has enormous strengths and resiliencies already inside them, and that a key to positive change is to tap into those resources in order to create positive and realistic solutions. Rather than talking exclusively about problems, I help you grow and change by using the strengths you already possess.
- Client-Centered Approach: I believe that the greatest potential for improvement is present when I am simultaneously empathetic and authentic. Additionally, I believe that you know yourself better than I know you. Acknowledging that truth and respecting you means helping you to reach your own conclusions and decisions, rather than giving you advice.
- Relational: Therapy, at its core is a relationship. We can – and will – talk about what happens outside of the office, but much of the “magic” of therapy stems from takes place between therapist and client in the therapy room.
- Narrative Therapy: A lot of people struggle because they have learned to tell their stories or look at their situations in a particular way, but there are a thousand different possible perspectives. Narrative therapy is about “rewriting” your story so that it can be empowering while maintaining its truth.
- Existentialism: A personal motto of mine, stemming from the musical Rent, is “No day but today.” Existentialism is a philosophy of living in the present, accepting the inevitability that we only have a limited amount of time in our lives, and using that understanding to fuel our decisions and attitudes.
- Feminist Philosophy: This informs therapy with clients with clients of all genders, because feminism is an everyone issue. The rigid pink/blue gender binary teaches us that women have to be deferential and men have to be devoid of emotion. I encourage my clients to challenge this idea.
- Use of Humor: I believe that laughter is often the best medicine. While I’m not a stand-up comedian, I find that the clients with whom I laugh feel better faster.