I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. It takes strength for people to ask for help when they need it and it is courageous to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In therapy, you will identify and explore your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.
What’s the difference between talking to a therapist or my best friend or family?
A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way to learn new skills and gain different perspectives. A therapist will listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others knowing your business.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective, but it alone cannot resolve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling. Counseling is designed to uncover and explore the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has unique issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. However, individual sessions usually begin with a brief check-in about how you’ve been doing since your last session. Depending on the reasons for which you have sought counseling and the type of therapy you need, sessions may be fairly structured and based around learning and applying specific skills or more informal, giving you an opportunity to talk about whatever you want.
How long will it take?
This cannot be predicted in a general way. Each person’s circumstances are unique and the length of time you need to accomplish your goals for therapy depends on your desire for personal development, your level of commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling, as well as the type of therapy in which we are engaged.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
Your active participation will be crucial to your success. You can only get from therapy as much as you put into it, so it is important to be honest with your therapist. Do any assigned homework and tell your therapist your thoughts on how sessions are going.