HOW CAN COUNSELING / PSYCHOTHERAPY HELP ME?

There are benefits from participating in counseling.  I can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, family concerns, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and the hassles of daily life.  The benefits you get from participating in counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn from our sessions.  Some benefits of counseling include:

  • Reaching a better understanding of yourself and your goals as well as your values.
  • Finding the answers to your concerns that led you to look for a counselor / therapist.
  • Acquiring new skills to help you deal with relationship challenges, parenting challenges, and interpersonal disputes.
  • Developing better communication and listening skills.
  • Being mindful and learning new ways to help you cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Social emotional learning; including managing how to respond to emotional pressure such as anger, depression, grief, and many other emotions we sometimes feel.
  • Enhancing your self-confidence and self-esteem. 

WHAT IS COUNSELING / PSYCHOTHERAPY LIKE?

Each person is unique and has different issues and goals that lead them to seek a therapist.  Therefore, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  Generally, in your session you can expect to discuss events happening in your life, your personal history pertinent to your issue, and report progress including the new insights that you gained from your previous sessions with your therapist.  Therapy can be short-term or long-term depending on your specific needs.  It is common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist.  Clients typically meet with me once a week for a regularly scheduled session.  Statistically this has been shown to be the most effective frequency for outpatient therapy.  You will get more results from counseling if you actively participate in the process.  Beyond the work you do during the therapy session, I may also suggest some things you can do outside of our sessions such as journaling on specific topics, reading a relevant book, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.  Individuals choose to go to counseling to make positive changes in their lives.  They are open to new perspectives and being responsible for their lives. 


WHAT ABOUT MEDICATION VERSUS PSYCHOTHERAPY?

Findings from empirical studies comparing medications and psychotherapy show that the long-term solution to mental health and emotional problems as well as the pain they cause cannot always be solved solely by medication.  In addition to treating the symptoms, therapy also addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curtail our progress.   For instance, psychotherapy (specifically cognitive behavior therapy) teaches patients to control their emotionally disturbing thoughts in ways that an antidepressant cannot.   Additionally, it often takes trial and error to find the right drugs.  It is very important that individuals who take medication be aware of any risks of side effects.  Research also shows that there are individuals who do not respond to medication alone.  For example, there is evidence that those depressed individuals who have a history of childhood trauma, such as the early loss of a parent or sexual or physical abuse, do not respond as well to an antidepressant as they do to psychotherapy.  Working with your medical doctor you can determine what is best for you.  For some individuals, the combination of psychotherapy with medication can improve the outcome.