What Is Therapy… and Why Is It Unique?
Many of the difficulties people face in their relationships and their lives can be traced to negative experiences suffered in previous relationships.
Whether one uses the term counseling, psychotherapy, or therapy, the psychotherapy process uses relationship dynamics to address, explore, and heal the wounds caused in previous relationships.
Through the healing therapy provides, you can regain self-confidence, trust, and empowerment, and move your life forward in the direction of your choosing.
While the communication and relationship that develop between a patient and therapist are vital factors in therapy’s success, therapy is much more than simply talking about your problems with someone you know. Family members, friends, and colleagues may be able to provide good advice or cheer you up, but these rarely lead to lasting change and do not constitute psychotherapy.
The relationship between a patient and therapist is strictly professional and exists solely to help you, the patient.
Therapists are not in the business of picking sides, cheering you on, or telling you what you want to hear. And the only thing a therapist should expect in return is payment for their time and services.
The purpose of professional therapy is to help you learn how to help yourself. The work is rarely, if ever, easy, but the rewards are truly limitless!
Can Professional Therapy Help You?
People seek the professional help of a therapist for many reasons, but more often than not an external life change or internal difficulties cause unmanageable anxiety, stress, or pain.
The cause can be an obvious one, such as a job loss, divorce, or death in the family. But, on many occasions, people seek help for issues involving internal feelings that aren’t easily expressed or attributable to external events.
Often, emotional stress comes from relationship difficulties with a partner, family member, colleague, or friend. Beyond simply helping you find a solution to your current dilemma, therapy can help you understand the underlying issues at work in the relationship. And with this understanding, you can prevent similar situations from recurring in the future!
Some emotional stress and relationship problems are associated with a lack of a particular skill, such as the ability to cope with grief and loss, anger management, assertiveness, or communication skills. Therapy not only helps identify the reasons for the lack of these skills, but can help you acquire and improve these skills. In a very real sense, therapy can teach you how to do what you need to do to feel better about your relationships with others and yourself.
In addition to the above, psychotherapy can help you learn more about yourself and others, and teach you techniques to overcome the obstacles preventing you from reaching your personal and professional goals. In short, a commitment to therapy is an investment in helping you become the person you want to be!
To find out more about the services I offer and how they can help you, I encourage you to review this website using the links above, or you may navigate to a particular topic of interest on the following list:
How to Get Started
I encourage you to “interview” several therapists to get a sense of who they are, how they can help you, and to see if they feel like a good fit for you and your unique situation.
I offer free initial phone consultations and am usually able to schedule an appointment within a few days, so I encourage you to contact me at 408-257-2515 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and schedule a time to meet.
During our first appointment together, I will provide several forms that need to be completed. Once these are complete and we discuss any questions you might have about them, me, or the process of therapy, I will begin with some questions about what brings you to therapy.
From there, we will discuss some of your background and previous relationships. While this may not seem immediately applicable to your reasons for seeking therapy, whatever you’ve experienced in the past still resides inside. Experiences in our adult lives often trigger outdated thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that don’t serve our present needs and situations.
Once past events are recalled and analyzed, we can work together to help you gain a more objective perspective on what is currently happening in your life, as well as heal any previous emotional wounds and help you move forward in your life with renewed energy and confidence.
A Variety of Healing Approaches to Meet Your Unique Needs
Because I strongly believe that all theories of human behavior do not fit all human beings, and because I endeavor to be sensitive to and respectful of a wide range of belief systems and cultures, I use a variety of treatment approaches in the healing work I do with patients.
For example, if it becomes apparent that we’ve tapped into something from your past that is affecting your present, we might use guided imagery or a gestalt technique where you speak to someone who’s not in the room and then speak as if they were responding to you.
I also use various cognitive-behavioral techniques to help you “do things differently” and get out of old thought and behavior patterns that aren’t serving your best interests.
Additionally, as an avid reader, I often prescribe books that may be helpful with particular issues. I have found that patients who read the topics we’re working with achieve more healing work in our sessions. In some cases reading speeds up the healing process because more of the material is processed and solidified outside of the time we spend together.
Can Medications and Supplements Help?
As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I cannot prescribe medications because I am not an M.D. However, I do work with a few carefully chosen psychiatrists to help patients who might need medication.
I typically don’t recommend medication to patients until we’ve had a chance to work together for a while. This allows me to determine if any brain chemical imbalances might exist for which medications may be helpful. If so, I may recommend a psychiatrist for an evaluation and possibly a prescription. However, the choice to accept a referral and or a prescription is always yours to make.
While I personally take as few medications as possible, I do use several supplements that have proven to be helpful for my own health issues. I will happily share what I know about the ones with which I am familiar, but this in no way constitutes a professional recommendation or endorsement, nor do I believe them to be necessary for successful therapy.
I hope this information helps you get to know a little more about me and the services I offer. I encourage you to review the rest of the material on this website and contact me at 408-257-2515 or at email@example.com with any questions you may have or to schedule a free initial phone consultation. I look forward to speaking with you and helping you help yourself!