This feels really uncomfortable. I’m used to handling things on my own. Are my problems really serious enough to warrant therapy?
Many, maybe even most, of our clients have had this same doubt. The start of therapy can feel uncomfortable, and it’s even harder to do when we worry that our problems aren’t serious enough to justify seeking therapy. It’s likely that this is your anxiety talking, so instead of listening to that self-doubt we ask you to push past it for now and schedule. You might even feel some immediate relief just by scheduling, and we certainly hope you’ll feel even more relief when you meet your therapist and feel a connection with them.
We think it takes a lot of courage to reach out for therapy, and we have lots of respect for those who do.
I’ve already been talking to my friends about this, and I don’t feel better. How is talking going to help me?
Talking with a mental health professional is a very different experience than talking to your friends or family about your personal difficulties. Your therapist will be listening from an objective perspective, and with their personal expertise they can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you understand yourself. Therapy is completely confidential, which gives you the space to share intimate, vulnerable details that you may not be comfortable sharing with others. Sometimes we feel guilty or like a burden if we share too much with the people we care about, and while this may be a fully accurate view on the situation, it can offer us real comfort to have someone else with whom we can share our worries.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
You could just take medication, if that’s the path you desire. Medication can be an effective alternative to therapy if you prefer it. However, some of us have a sense that we really need to talk through our difficulties, and need a supportive coach to help us to make active changes in our lives in order to live the way we want. You can do this with therapy alone, or with a combination of therapy and medications. We are happy to coordinate with your primary care or psychiatric professional to help you make the most of both treatments.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
It works in different ways for different people. But the most important parts of how therapy works include:
a. Your relationship with your therapist. You should have a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and connected, and in whom you feel trust and confidence.
b. Your desire to make change and an active approach to therapy. Our style involves a lot of planning during sessions, and implementing real change outside of sessions. Your job is to show up, be as open and honest as you can with your therapist, and give thoughtful attention outside of session to the homework you have designed in session with your therapist.
How long will it take?
This depends on too many factors to predict accurately, but let’s say this. Some of our clients come to therapy with very clear and circumscribed goals for change, and we can use a time-limited approach to reaching those goals. Other clients come to therapy in need of longer lasting support to regain a healthy life and healthy relationships, and that’s okay too. Your unique circumstances and goals will help determine the length of treatment, and we encourage you to talk to your therapist about this at the start of treatment and throughout.
We like to think of ourselves as your mental wellness primary care experts–this means we hope you’ll return to us for a boost as you need some extra support over the course of your life, and we will be here to help you.