A little clarity about the process of choosing a therapist and getting into the work

Counseling and Therapy – What’s the Difference?

Counseling can be helpful for specific issues like situational anxiety or communication challenges or stress management. We focus on tools and symptom management and helping you function better right now.

Therapy, as in psychotherapy, is often a longer term depth process that works on healing old wounds that are persistently impacting your daily life. In practice, the two can overlap a lot and where we go depends on what you need and what you are ready for.

What Can I Expect in the First Session?

First, we'll review the paperwork and clarify any questions and concerns about policies and agreements. Then we'll discuss your current concerns and I'll gather relevant history. I will give you feedback and reflections and discuss appropriate approaches. Though I am very interactive and approach therapy with a coaching orientation at times, I am here to help you discover yourself and cannot tell you what to do - that being said, I will offer alternatives for approaching situations that you may not have considered.

There Are Lots of Other Therapists to Choose From, Why Should I Choose You?

Like many of my colleagues, I offer strong empathetic support for your journey. My clients have been appreciative of my intuition and my ability to help them get to the heart of the matter. I am particularly open and receptive to a wide range of lifestyles and am deeply committed to helping you grow and heal. While these strengths are not uncommon, I also offer body-mind psychotherapy, also known as somatic therapy. Somatic therapy includes your felt body experience in addition to the usual thoughts and feelings that talk-therapy addresses. It’s by working through the body that we can facilitate change around some of your most deeply problematic and painful issues.

How Do I Know You are the Right Therapist For Me?

At this point, you don’t and neither do I. That’s something we will figure out together in our first 1-3 sessions as we get clear on what your challenges are and what approach is most appropriate. Research shows that the relationship between therapist and client is an essential component to successful outcomes so it’s very important that we are a good match and we will have to meet to find that out.

Do I Really Need Counseling?  I Can Usually Handle My Problems. 

 Counseling can help you function more effectively and deal with your problems in more satisfying and effective ways. We all need support at times and sometimes, the optimal support is from someone who isn't in our personal sphere. Given that you are here, it's safe to assume that you are wanting something for yourself and your life that you are having trouble accessing on your own. Even if you aren't dealing with significant mental health challenges, therapy allows you to learn about yourself and grow in new ways.

How Long Will This Take?

That depends on what you are wanting help with and how entrenched the issue is. Sometimes, an issue can be resolved in 5-10 sessions. Often, it takes longer. If you know you want short-term counseling, let’s discuss that and see if my work is an appropriate fit for you.

Is Therapy Going to Make Things Worse?

Because therapy often brings things to the surface that we've been working to suppress, such as painful feelings, resentments and dissatisfactions, some people experience things like extra strain in problematic relationships or less tolerance for unhealthy situations. This is often an important part of you discovering what changes need to be made in your life. That being said, sometimes, it stirs up things in areas that are harder to shift such relationships with key family members. In those cases, important dynamics are getting highlighted and provide an opportunity for you to explore new ways of relating to those people or situations.

For those with more severe trauma history or mental health challenges, it is important to go slowly because destabilization is possible if we were to dive too deeply too quickly so this is something we actively monitor. What this means is that sometimes we need to take smaller steps and tread more lightly than a person is wanting in their motivation to heal and change. Safety is essential and the work can be powerful so I take care to tend the pacing as needed.

Isn't Therapy Expensive?

It can be. And, it can be one of the best investments that you make in yourself and your future. Therapy is an opportunity to deal with all those stuck patterns and ways of relating that are getting in your way, including financially. Doing that takes time and commitment. On a practical note, I do have sliding scale spots available occasionally - Feel free to inquire about that.

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