Why do couples and individuals seek therapy?
People come into counseling for many reasons and with different expectations. I consider 3 issues foundational for any problem that is explored.
- How a person thinks about a problem or situation makes a big difference in what they do. Therapy is an opportunity to explore the thinking of the person or couple involved.
- The context is always important . Facts are helpful here and I place emphasis on the processes people use rather than looking for who is to blame.
- People want to be happy and to be less anxious. Therapy can help lower anxiety. A calmer person can think more clearly, process and solve problems better, engage their energy in goal directed behavior and enjoy life more.
- A session lasts 50 minutes.
- Usually a few weekly sessions at first and then bi weekly appointments, giving time to work on the issues of concern.
- Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need weekly, longer or several sessions in a week, until the crisis passes. My interest is in lowering levels of anxiety and reactivity in the beginning of therapy.
- During the time between sessions it is beneficial for clients to think about and process what was discussed.
- At times, you may decide to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions. These include reading, keeping notes, or experimenting with some small changes that can lead to significant desired change in your life.
- When therapy "works," you have been an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions. The real work in changing is done in everyday life. The reward for doing the work of changing and managing self better is also experienced in everyday life, in living more of the life you want .
- Often it is helpful just to know that someone is carefully listening to you.
- Therapy can provide you with a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a better plan.
- Some people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to their managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life.
- Therapy that is successful at initially lowering a clients level of anxiety increases the benefits they will gain from therapy and increases the probability they will put into practice what is learned. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Developing a better understanding of ones self, personal goals and values
- Improving relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Coping better with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications skills - listening to others, and being heard better by others. This may lead to you and others getting more of what you want out of life situations.
- Getting "unstuck" from patterns that are problematic.
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without your express written permission, on releases which can be signed at my office. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately. Should this become necessary, you would be informed by me of this action and why it is being taken and if at all possible would be present when the call to report is made.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.