Why do people seek therapy?
People come to therapy for many reasons. Some people are trying to find healthy ways to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others may be seeking self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, sexual intimacy issues, unresolved childhood trauma, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, and stress management. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts about 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Usually weekly sessions are best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping a journal. I encourage journaling as it has been a helpful tool for my clients to reflect on what we have worked on in therapy and it gives them a place to record thoughts, feelings and experiences that they might want to share in our next session. For therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy session.
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communication skills - learning how to listen to others, and having others listen to you
- Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence!