How do I know if I need therapy?
You should consider seeking professional help when you are having difficulty coping and managing uncomfortable feelings or symptoms. Uncomfortable feelings are subjective and tolerance will vary from person to person. If your feelings of distress, anxiety, loneliness, sadness (to name a few) are interfering with your ability to work, maintain relationships and function productively in your daily life, therapy would benefit you. Some people will experience emotional distress manifesting as physical symptoms such as disrupted sleep, change of appetite, weight gain/loss and low energy.
People seek therapy for an array of issues including the following:
- Feeling stuck or lacking direction
- Repetitive destructive patterns
- Embarking on life transitions
- Feelings of loneliness, depression, anger or anxiety
- Desiring greater insight and awareness of oneself and his or her behaviors
- Achieving greater life satisfaction
- Relationship dissatisfaction/conflict
How do I find the right therapist?
Finding the right therapist can be an overwhelming process. The goal is to find a therapist who will provide an empathetic approach while simultaneously guiding you in identifying the barriers which have kept you from thriving and achieving your personal goals. A therapist should take the time to provide a consultation prior to the initial appointment to get a better understanding of your treatment goals. This is also the opportunity to learn more about the therapist's background and if he or she has experience treating the issues or disorders you may be struggling with. The therapist will be able to give you an honest answer if they believe therapy, and more specifically if he or she can be of help to you. Therapy is a collaborative process. It is essential you feel a sense of partnership, safety and comfort with the therapist you are working with.
How do I know if therapy is working for me?
Change and growth are not simple processes and will vary in length for each individual. Once the therapeutic relationship is established and commitment and patience are present, you will begin to feel less overwhelmed by your distressing symptoms. Most people tend to feel a sense of immediate relief after taking the initial step in seeking help to address their symptoms. If an individual's primary method of coping has been avoidance, it is not uncommon for one to feel some level of discomfort prior to feeling better due to addressing uncharted territory. However with the right support and guidance, it is only a short stage in the exploratory process which will soon lead to a sense of comfort and clarity.
How long are session and how often do I attend?
A therapy session is usually a 50 minute period, unless you and your therapist have made a different arrangement. In most cases, therapy requires a weekly commitment. Based on the circumstances and presenting issues, therapy can be as frequent as 2-4 times per week. Often when a client is nearing the termination of his or her treatment, the therapist will agree to move toward bimonthly, then eventually monthly sessions.
Are sessions confidential?
Information disclosed during sessions is confidential between the therapist and the client with the exception of certain circumstances. As a mandated by law, the therapist is required to disclose/report the following circumstances:
- If the therapist has reasonable suspicion that harm or abuse has been or may be done to a child or elderly person.
- If the therapist has reason to believe you may be harmful to yourself or others, the therapist must take necessary steps to protect you or others who may be at risk.
If you chose or desire to have the therapist consult with a third party (spouse, primary physician, psychiatrist), you will sign a release of information which allows this exchange.