What should I expect?
During your first appointment the clinician will speak with you to get information about your current concerns, as well as additional background information that will help us to better understand your needs.
Clients come to see us for many different reasons, such as feeling depressed or anxious, a friend or family concern, eating and body image problems, sexual assault, self-esteem concerns, academic /employment stress, and more. Clients sometimes worry that their problem isn't, "Big Enough" to see a therapist, but we are here to support you at whatever place you are at.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is intended for people who have certain problems or symptoms and who are distressed or demoralized by these issues and concerns. Individuals who seek psychotherapy may feel unable to cope with life or relational situations that they are expected, by themselves or others, to handle. They may be struggling with anxiety, depression, unresolved conflicts, grief, stress generated by life or work transitions, chronic illness, addictions, sexuality, trauma, etc…These feelings can encompass loss of confidence or self-esteem, guilt or shame, isolation and alienation, particularly when help is not available from those to whom these individuals ordinarily look for support or understanding. Psychotherapy is foremost a collaboration between therapist and client where the interests, needs, and welfare of the client guide the relationship. The psychotherapist must establish a psychologically safe and respectful environment for each client, wherein anything can be said and any feeling experienced. It is customary for psychotherapists to discuss and reflect a client's primary issue and concerns during therapy sessions. The therapist focuses on understanding the patient's personal history; the meaning each patient makes of their personal history; identifying and altering unhealthy or negative behavior or thought patterns that may be impeding a patient's growth and adaptation abilities; and offering new or different perspectives to patient's present experiences. For therapy to be most effective, both the psychotherapist and the client must be active, engaged participants. At its best, psychotherapy is a process of discovery and a way to develop insights into why we do what we do.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues. Some benefits include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, 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.
- Improving self-esteem and body image.
What are sessions like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. Sessions can range from short term to long term, and are dependent on the needs of the client. If long term sessions are agreed upon, they generally address more complex issues or the exploration of ongoing personal growth.
Is medication a substitution for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. While 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.