Therapy? What is it?

Therapists can help develop problem-solving skills, provide support and enhance coping strategies for issues such as depression, grief, anxiety,  stress management, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues,  anger management as well as creative and performance blocks. Some also find that therapy can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, the annoyances of daily life and difficulty with professional decisions. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on an arduous 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 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, 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’ve always handled my own problems.

We all go through demanding 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 may need more support. You are taking responsibility by accepting that there are things in your life that you would like to change or come to terms with. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, disrupt damaging patterns, and develop resiliency for the challenges that are to come.

How do I know if therapy is right for me?

Everyone has different reasons to start therapy. Some are going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Others need help managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, ethical conflicts, and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide encouragement and develop skills to get through these rough periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to discover more about themselves or want to be more deliberate about their life goals. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet challenges in their life head-on and ready to make change.

What can I expect in therapy?

Because each person has a different reason and goal for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issues, and report any new insights from the previous therapy session. Therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns and more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions with your therapist.

Coming to therapy will require you to look at your patterns of behavior and thinking. In doing so, it is important to remember that the end goal should be to bring your insights and growth into your everyday life. Therapy that doesn’t leave the couch isn’t effective – so be brave and have the courage to use the tools that you learn in session. You may have homework between sessions – if the word “homework” causes a recoil through the very essence of your being, you’re not alone. But never fear this kind of homework is very different and you will not receive a grade at the end of session. Homework outside of session is a way to further develop insights and behaviors worked on in session.