What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a learning situation where you can learn to understand and control your emotions and behavior, make new changes in your behavior, or increase your self-understanding.
Psychotherapy can also help relieve you from emotional distress or make progress toward fuller self-awareness.
Psychologists are not just people who give you advice, and therapy is not simple problem-solving.
Therapy produces change in your life, but not because of advice you get from the psychologist. Psychotherapy is a much richer experience. It is a specialized technique that is effective in helping you cope with a wide range of difficulties and can produce lasting changes in your life.
The foundation of psychotherapy is the relationship you establish with your psychologist. Psychotherapy is an interpersonal process - the therapist communicates understanding, respect, and helpfulness to you.
The therapist strives to communicate understanding of your difficulties in order to help you share in this understanding.
The therapist always focuses on understanding and interpreting your behavior, and only brings their own feelings and experiences into the situation when it would facilitate your treatment.
Formal arrangements are different from other interpersonal relationships, and include things like having a regularly scheduled meeting time that is uninterrupted and focusing only on matters concerning your psychological health and adjustment.
The goal of psychotherapy is to relieve your emotional distress, modify personality characteristics that might prevent you from realizing your potential, or help you to enjoy rewarding interpersonal relationships.
Both symptom relief and positive personality change are goals of psychotherapy, and are achieved by helping you to understand yourself better.
Most people are not sure exactly what psychotherapy is and who can benefit from it.
In short, good therapy is a way to improve your experience of life, a way to increase your joy in living, a way to curtail or end emotional suffering, a way to boost your personal productivity, or a way to learn how to create loving, honest relationships with others.
Good psychotherapy is one of the best things you can do to improve your experience of life.
There are differences between an medical illness and an injury, just as there are differences between a mental illness and a "mental injury."
Symptoms of anxiety and depression can often accompany these and other life challenges.
When you need to talk to someone who can help, you need an experienced, licensed psychologist.
Therapy with a psychologist can help you get back on track, and can help you enhance your quality of life.
Can Psychotherapy Help You?
While therapy can help most people overcome life difficulties, not every person who is struggling with a life transition needs therapy.
There are many approaches to psychological healing, and therapy is just one of them.
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you might want to find out how therapy could be of benefit to you.
If you're not sure whether therapy could be of benefit to you, consider contacting me for an initial consultation.
I'd be happy to hear about your situation and make a recommendation. If your needs don't fall within my scope of practice, I'll help you find an appropriate referral.
Finding the Right Therapist
You might think that finding a therapist is like shopping for something, and that what you get from one therapist is basically what you'll get from another.
While it may seem that this is true, finding the right therapist is more about the match between you and the therapist than the therapist alone.
If the therapist is a good fit for you, you should feel a sense of relief and validation by the comments they make.
It's important to take the time to find someone you feel you can trust and that you enjoy talking with.
The consumer resource materials on this web site can help you understand the standards of practice.
When you contact me for an appointment, we'll schedule an initial consultation to determine whether we could work well together.
If your needs fall outside of my scope of practice, or if there is not a good "fit" between you and I, I'll provide you with appropriate referrals to other qualified providers.