What is Therapy?

Some call it therapy or counseling.  I generally refer to it as psychotherapy.  These terms are interchangeable. But what is it? What happens? How does it work?

I’ll try to be concise here.  Volumes have been written about this, but I will do my best to give you an idea of how therapy might serve you.

You don’t have to know what you want from therapy.

You may just have a sense that therapy could help.  Or maybe someone recommended it and you’re thinking of giving it a try.  Or maybe you are just confused about things in your life and think therapy might help sort things out.  These are all valid reasons to call me and get started.

Being known is healing.

Just talking about your life with someone can make a difference.  Sometimes, being heard, and just hearing yourself talk about what’s going on, can bring some clarity to what you’re experiencing.  Some of my clients don’t have anyone in their lives who can listen objectively or without an emotional reaction. And some have secrets they’ve never shared with another soul.  To be heard, and fully known, can be life-changing. I’d be honored to serve you in this way.

Input from others enhances us.

It takes courage to open yourself up to input from others.  And if the relationship is with someone you trust, and you’re willing to listen and take in what rings as true and leave the rest, you’re on the brink of an important part of your journey. I’d be happy to travel alongside you for a time.

We believe lies about ourselves, others and the world.

Everyone walks around with stories in their head that simply are not true.  “You don’t have what it takes”, “You’ll never be successful”, “You’re stupid”, “There’s something very wrong with you” or “You are not worthy of love” are just a few of the lies my clients believe about themselves.  Whether it was people in your life who convinced you they were true, or you cooked up those stories on your own to help you “cope” in a not-so-great way, I can help you wrestle those lies to the ground so that you can be free.

Professional treatment can make your life better.

When you feel better, you have more hope about the future.  When you have hope about the future, it has a positive impact on every aspect of your life.  By utilizing techniques and interventions that are clinically proven effective, and by strengthening our therapeutic relationship with empathy, compassion and an easygoing style, our work together is bound to help you feel better.

How does therapy work? What should I expect?

We start simply.  I ask you questions to help you share about your life.  I get to know what your upbringing was like, what were the key experiences that shaped you, what your relationships have been like, how you’ve coped so far, and what is happening now that prompted you to come in and see me.  Within a few sessions, together we identify some goals for our work together. And we continue to work with those goals in mind. Our work is generally finished when together we determine it makes sense – and one of the gauges for that is how you are feeling about yourself, your life, your relationships and the future.  When very specific goals were established for our work, for example, to relieve depression or anxiety, or to learn coping skills for a specific disorder, like OCD or bipolar disorder, then it is even more clear when we’ve reached the “finish line.”