What should I expect from therapy?
What will successful therapy be for you? Much of the detail will depend on the type of issues you face and their severity. However, we will discuss and review throughout your therapy what you hope to accomplish during our time together and what you would like to be happening in your life by the time our work is complete. In this way your image of success and progress towards it will be very familiar. This will require you to do some things differently and will likely feel very uncomfortable in the beginning. New thinking and behaviors always are. Yet, in time, the new way of living will become self-reinforcing as you are able to shed the old behaviors and thinking that have not worked for you.
Generally, the more motivated you become, the faster you will find relief. Much of what blocks us in our relationships and in finding joy in our lives is being able to first acknowledge what our needs are, and then to practice asking for what we want. This is not always easy. Therapy can be very frustrating and emotionally exhausting. Not unlike cleaning a wound so that it can develop a new and protective layer of skin.
In the beginning, I might ask to see you weekly for about 4 weeks. This provides us the opportunity to get to know each other better while developing some ‘traction’ on the situation that brought you here. I may provide some ‘homework’ to help keep you moving along toward your goals. At the end of this time you will have an opportunity to give a rating of where you were when we first started and where you think we are by the fourth session. We will use this to keep things moving. For some, this may be all that is needed. Many others prefer to continue to work towards improvement and this is often done by meeting every other week.
At any juncture, you are encouraged to let me know if there are situations that come up during the counseling process that are uncomfortable. Together we will decide if this is simply resisting a difficult change required to bring about success in therapy or if we need to more carefully address what is causing the impasse. It is important to move at a pace that is not overwhelming to you. At times therapy is hard work, yet it is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself or your family.