What to Expect
Therapy is unlike any other relationship. In therapy, all of the focus is solely and squarely on you. This dynamic affords a unique opportunity to uncover and explore who you really are. By directing these insights, you and your therapist are able to plot a course for the experience of change and improvement.
It’s a common misconception that all therapists do is simply listen. Our therapists are active, not passive; and the relationship is collaborative, not one-sided. Together you determine the course of discovery and change. And all of your therapist’s efforts, observations, thoughts and feedback are designed with that goal in mind.
Tools and Techniques
Therapists employ a variety of skills and techniques to facilitate awareness and change.
- Identifying feelings
- Thoughts and behaviors
- Exploring patterns and themes
- Identifying your internal critic
- Breaking things down into manageable steps
- Changing negative thought patterns
- Testing out healthier ways of being
- Building lists of ways to soothe yourself during the rough spots
Is It For Me?
There are many reasons to try therapy. Maybe you’ve just experienced a major, unsettling life event or transition. Perhaps, you’ve identified a pattern in your life that you want to stop repeating. Maybe it’s about a relationship, or self-esteem issues, or moodiness, or simply a general state of malaise and discontent that you can’t quite explain. These are only a few examples of the kinds of issues appropriate for therapy.
What can therapy do to help? Let’s say, by way of illustration, that you want to change a pattern of behaviour that’s become burdensome. In this case, therapy could help you explore why you developed that pattern in the first place. It could help you understand how that pattern once served you, and give you the tools necessary to replace it with something better. Generally, self protective strategies are helpful and if used in the proper manner, healthy. But they can become so automatic that no new information gets in. It’s like using an old map for directions, but all the street names have changed. This therapy would be about creating a new map.
For more information on deciding if therapy is appropriate for you, you can visit our Symptoms Checklist page.
Some Erroneous Beliefs about Therapy
1. l have to be suicidal, in crisis, or crazy.
2. It means I’m whining, complaining, bitching.
3. I should be able to do it myself.
4. It’s too self indulgent to go to therapy.
5. Crying is weak.
6. How could anyone know more than me about me?
7. I’ve already thought about all of this before and it hasn’t helped.
8. I’m flawed or a failure if I go to therapy.
9. I can’t be helped anyway. This is just how I am.
10. I already talk to my friends about this.
Okay, but how are you doing? It’s part of our national heritage to be self-reliant and pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Nobody wants to be a burden on others. We continue to try over and over in the same ways and expect different results. Eventually we may even learn to tolerate and live with what isn’t working and to just give up trying. But if you don’t feel well and you could use some help, why not focus on that first?
We believe that everyone deserves to be listened to, to be understood, and to be assisted in moving forward in their life in healthier, more gratifying ways. Sometimes talking with friends or relatives is just what you need. Sometimes you can figure it out on your own. But when that’s not enough, remember that therapy can be the most direct, powerful thing you can do to facilitate change.