Common Questions

saleboy How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from therapy. I provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be an asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. I may 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 your engagement in the process. Some benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • 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, or depression
  • Improving communication and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your relationships
  • 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. If you were struggling with a math class, you might look for a tutor to help you. The same is true when it comes to your mental health. A therapist is a tutor for your mental health. 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 therapy.  Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are experiencing overwhelm.  Some people need assistance managing issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, gender identity issues, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective. Everyone can benefit from therapy. You may be uncomfortable or nervous during your first appointment, but you will know it is right for you if you have changes you want help making in your life. If I lack the expertise or resources to provide the treatment you need, you will be referred to a community resource more suited to your specific needs.

What is therapy like?
Therapy will be different for each person. You can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and share progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Most clients schedule regular sessions with their therapist on a weekly basis, though that can vary based on your needs. Research has show that many clients effectively address their goals in six or eight sessions, though others may have a need or interest in a longer period of treatment.
The ultimate goal of therapy is you bring what you learn back into your life.  Because of that, I may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support you - such as reading a book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.


What about medication vs. therapy?  
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can achieve growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your medical doctor and therapist, you can determine what's best for you. In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. 

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
The Code of Ethics for psychologists (APA) and state laws regulating our profession regard that personal information you discuss while in counseling to be confidential in nature. This means that the counselor may not reveal any information about you to anyone, except for professional consultation, without your specific written permission. All records concerning your counseling are kept in a locked file, and unauthorized access to this file is prohibited. Due to legal and ethical constraints, confidentiality is not guaranteed if you are to be in clear and imminent danger to yourself (suicidal) or to another (homicidal), if you report current abuse of a child or dependent adult, or if your records are subpoenaed by a court of law.