I’ve never talked to anyone and I’m used to handling things on my own. Does this make me weak?
Not at all. People who know when they need help and have the courage to reach out are often some of the strongest individuals. The truth is, it’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about since everyone needs help every now and then.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective but medication alone often does not solve all issues, and is oftentimes a band-aid to the problem. That said, sometimes medication is beneficial in conjunction with therapy. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing to support healthy coping and growth while medication can sometimes promote a chemical and hormonal balance in the brain.
How can therapy help me more than a self-help book?
While many self-help books can be insightful and worthwhile, they are not individualized to you, and the individuals and stories are often generalizations and not specific to your exact experiences. Moreover, books do not provide you with the special experience of a therapist walking alongside you in your healing journey.
What’s the difference between talking to you vs. my best friend or family?
The primary difference is, I have the training and experience to support you in a professional capacity, unlike a friend or family member. A licensed professional can help you approach your situation in a new way – listen to you without expectations or judgment, gain different insight and perspectives, teach you skills and techniques, etc. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential and you don’t have to worry about others “knowing your business.”
What should I expect for the first appointment?
It is normal to feel nervous for the first appointment, as I am a stranger to you in the beginning and it’s not always easy being vulnerable with someone new. The first appointment is focused on assessment and exploring the presenting problems, as well as rapport building and increasing your comfort. We will also reflect on goals and objectives for therapy. If you are a minor, a parent will accompany you and be present for at least half of the appointment, although I will ensure you have time to speak privately for a portion of the appointment as well.
Will I feel better immediately?
Some individuals feel an immediate sense of relief by simply getting everything off their chest and feeling heard and validated. Others can find it challenging and painful facing repressed feelings and experiences, and it’s a process of healing. My goal, however, is to offer you a sense of hope from the beginning that it can get better.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to accomplish your goals depends on the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place, your desire for personal change, and your commitment to growth. Some individuals find that they only need a few sessions, and other individuals are in therapy for longer periods of time.
I want to get the most out of therapy, but what can I do to help?
Your active participation, as well as your follow through on clinical recommendations and “homework” between sessions is crucial to your success.