Frequently Asked Questions about Psychotherapy and Counseling:
Q: How do I know if Psychotherapy and Counseling is right for me?
A: If you are a person who wants to understand yourself and your actions better, are willing to express your goals, thoughts, behaviors, symptoms, and relationships, then Psychotherapy and Counseling is right for you. If you have hope that things can be better, and are willing to take positive action to change, Psychotherapy and Counseling is right for you. Maybe you have been repeating the same thing over and over again without experiencing different results or you are struggling with fears, doubts, frustrations, social and work relationships, Psychotherapy and Counseling is right for you.
Q: What can I expect during the first appointments?
A: The first few sessions are meant for me to get to know you and understand your goals or concerns. You can expect that I will ask what brings you to Psychotherapy and Counseling, make comments and ask for clarification. Typically, I spend the first appointments addressing your most pressing concerns first.
Q: How long is the session?
A: The typical Psychotherapy and Counseling session lasts 50 minutes. Group therapy and family therapy can sometimes last longer depending on the frequency of the sessions and the particular family.
Q: How long does Psychotherapy and Counseling last?
A: There is no standard length that serves all people. It takes time to make long-lasting changes in your life. Most people usually begin to feel understood within the first session; develop an understanding of their life situation and themselves and notice small changes within a few weeks of therapy.
Q: What if I’m afraid to express my feelings?
A: For some, expressing their feelings is difficult, but since feelings are a fundamental part of the human experience, I will work with you to help you become more comfortable expressing your feelings. It takes time. Some people need time to feel comfortable sharing their feelings. It will be in your best interest to re-connect to your feelings and find a way to put them into words.
Q: What if my thoughts and feelings sound crazy?
A: I am here to treat you with unconditional positive regard. There is hardly anything that you can say that would surprise or shock me. There is no judgment or criticism on my part. Psychotherapy and Counseling is a talking cure. All of your thoughts and feelings – from your dreams and fears to your sexual fantasies, wishes, and frustrations are important to express.
Q: So it’s okay to talk about sex in Psychotherapy and Counseling?
A: Yes. It sometimes takes awhile before people feel comfortable discussing such topics but sexuality is a big part of who we are and how we relate to others, Psychotherapy and Counseling is a safe place to talk about it.
Q: How do I know if therapy is working?
A: Typically, you know that therapy is working when the symptoms that brought you in begin to dissipate. For example, you came with overwhelming anxiety and that has decreased since you started therapy.
Q: Am I a good candidate for Psychotherapy and Counseling?
A: Mostly everyone can benefit from Psychotherapy and Counseling. Together, we look at recurring issues and explore what you can do to make a positive change in your life. Perhaps you feel wronged or mistreated by significant others earlier in your life and feel this is an ongoing problem. You can continue blaming others for your current situation and feel victimized and stuck, or you can take responsibility for addressing what is currently happening in your life. Although you are older now and have access to new ideas and lifestyles, repetitions of previous experiences continue and/or physical symptoms occur in reaction to issues that have been uncomfortable for you to deal with or seemingly impossible for you to manage in your past. Your body experiences physical symptoms or expresses behavioral anomalies as a result of issues that have not been expressed through language or reconciled through positive action. This is a natural coping mechanism to help you defend against overwhelming thoughts and fears. Self understanding and maturation will help you to transform and adapt, enabling you to leave those previous behaviors and symptoms behind.
This is a journey of self-exploration and continued development of understanding the world around you. Rather than trying to find an outside solution to an internal problem, people who are good candidates for Psychotherapy and Counseling are ready to search and find the answers within themselves. Change is your choice, as opposed to a requirement or impossibility. Awareness and understanding, in and of themselves, do not create change. Your choice is to leave some things as they are, know that you are now responsible for continuing those behaviors – because they serve you in some way – or moving forward and creating desired change.
Yes, changing our viewpoints and behavior can be difficult. We all grow up learning unique sets of standards and being exposed to different experiences. These standards and experiences inform our thoughts, feelings and behaviors toward the outside world. But remember: we are human! We are capable of change! Change can be frightening but it can also be the catalyst for new and fulfilling experiences.