Clients come to therapy for many different reasons. Some are seeking relief from troublesome symptoms like depression or anxiety, while others are looking for ways to cope more effectively, improve their relationships, or make better choices in their lives. Some of my clients seek treatment to help them during difficult life transitions, while others come with longer lasting problems. Still others come to treatment without a clear sense of a specific problem, but feel somehow “stuck,” have a general sense that things should be better, or feel that their lives are not fully satisfactory. Whether your concerns reflect relatively discrete, time-limited issues or long-standing difficulties, psychotherapy offers an opportunity to address them in a safe, respectful and thoughtful environment.
The decision to seek treatment is a difficult one for many people. Fear of the unknown, embarrassment, and uncertainty about whether therapy is needed or would be helpful are common. I encourage you to consider an evaluation session to explore these kinds of issues and to determine whether psychotherapy makes sense for you.
What takes place during psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a form of “talk therapy,” meaning that treatment consists of the conversation between therapist and client, usually in weekly, 50-minute sessions. In talking with clients, my job is to listen very carefully to what you tell me, help you explore your feelings, including those that may lie underneath your conscious awareness, and assist you in recognizing patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior that may be causing difficulties. What therapy requires from you is a willingness to be honest, the ability to tolerate uncomfortable feelings, and a desire to see change in your life.
Clinical research has taught us that one of the most important curative factors in psychotherapy is the quality of the relationship between the therapist and client. Assessing how well we work together, and how comfortable you are, is an important goal in our initial sessions.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule.
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.