What do we do in the sessions? How does it work?
What happens in sessions can vary because each client comes to therapy with different goals and issues.
I will mainly listen to you and ask questions during our sessions. Some of those questions may spark thoughts, which may help you understand your emotions or patterns of thought. I may take some notes so I can remember bits of information.
It will help if you take a similar non-judgmental stance to the one I take in our sessions. It will also help if you can be honest with me. You only will have to tell me whatever you are comfortable telling me.
We will talk and explore. I will support you, challenge you when you are ready, and celebrate with you when you reach goals. Our sessions will not always be easy, but the relief you get will be worth the work you do.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is impossible to say since no two people are alike. Everyone’s circumstances are unique and the time it can take to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.
Chocolate or vanilla? Cats or dogs?
Chocolate all the way! My motto is: “If it’s not chocolate, it’s not worth it!”
The pet choices in my life have been sorely limited given my living situation. So, while hypothetically I believe I am a dog person, I have discovered to my surprise that I like cats, especially the one in my family, Dylan.
I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
I don’t think people who seek help are weak. On the contrary, I think it is a sign of strength to ask for help when you know you need it. I think it also takes courage to seek help. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to use them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
On the surface, talking with a therapist might look like a conversation similar to one you might have with a friend. However, the therapist is trained and licensed to promote healthy, constructive change whereas your friend is not. At times a therapist will challenge you. Most friends will agree with you more than a therapist will, since they are motivated to maintain your relationship. Of course, a good friend may listen to you and even help you with something. A mental health professional like me can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Further, counseling is completely confidential. So, you won’t have to worry about others “knowing your business.”
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective, but it cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is helpful in conjunction with counseling. When necessary, we can discuss such options. With or without medication, our work together in psychotherapy is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing, expand on your strengths, and help you accomplish your personal goals.
What is your stance and approach in helping LGBTQ+ people in therapy?
Thank you for asking that question. I am LGBTQ+ affirming– and learning. I would be happy to work with anyone who identifies with the LGBTQ+ community or struggles with related issues. There are also some resources I’ve listed that might be helpful.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
Your interest and motivation at this point are already good signs! Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success. You are welcome to call me to discuss psychotherapy further in a brief complimentary telephone consultation.
Can you say anything to help me at this point? I’d love some free advice!
Unfortunately, I can only encourage you to contact me. Being a psychotherapist does not mean that I read minds. But, I can offer you a freebie that I hope will make you smile: lhttps://www.buzzfeed.com/purplepurplepurple/what-animal-would-you-be-2cpt17me2w (By the way, I got an elephant! What did you get?)
So, let’s say I become your client, what if I see you at the grocery store or library, what am I supposed to do?
It is a small world. So, we may run into one another outside of therapy. To preserve confidentiality, I tend not to acknowledge clients in public unless they first acknowledge me. Even then, when I greet you in return, I will try my best to honor our special relationship by erring on the side of caution.