How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapy can be a way to gain support, improve problem-solving, and enhance coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, unresolved childhood issues, grief, managing stress, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be tremendously helpful in improving interpersonal relationships and facilitate personal growth. Participating in therapy can help you better navigate challenges you are experiencing and provide a fresh perspective. Some of the benefits available from therapy 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
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy?
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other challenges, there are times in our lives when seeking out support can be incredibly helpful. Seeking therapy can be a demonstration of one's courage and self-awareness. Pursuing therapy is an active step in taking responsibility and making a commitment to your life.
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.). Others might be having difficulty managing stress or stuggling with depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide an opportunity to gain support and help develop tools to better manage these challenges. 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.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. Therapy will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on your background and how early experiences effect your current life, as well as focus upon the issues happening currently. Based upon your individual goals, therapy can be short-term for a specific issue, or longer-term, to gain a deeper understanding of yourself.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
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. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist 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 threated to harm another person.