How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for a variety of issues. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the challenges of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. 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 include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to
psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition
(unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful
circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of
other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions,
relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.
Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with
skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point
where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more
effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking
psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to
make changes in their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to
mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved by
medication alone. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses
the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your
progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of
well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your
medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a
combination of medication and therapy is the right course of
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components
between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high
degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not
discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should
provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you
can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with
anyone. If you want your therapist to share information or give an
update to someone (your physician, psychiatrist, nutritionist, spouse,
family member etc...) he/she cannot release this information without
obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.