How does therapy work?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, it will be different depending on the individual. Some clients need to discuss and work through specific situational issues in their lives, such as a transition, work, or a relationship. Others want to address an emotional condition or behavioral pattern, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, or addiction. Once I understand your concern and the factors contributing to it, I will tailor a therapeutic approach to your specific needs and we will work on it together. You may gain new insights and perspectives, and develop new ways of dealing with the challenges you face. You may also learn new skills that you can practice in between sessions to help you feel better and function more effectively.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Exploring and working through problems and building on strengths helps to reduce anxiety, lift depression, enhance sleep and improve energy. I also encourage my clients to develop skills and engage in healthy lifestyle practices that enhance their mood naturally. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with therapy, and when it is, the combination of medication, therapy and healthy lifestyle change can be remarkably effective.
How long will it take?
The duration of therapy varies widely. Some clients accomplish their goals for therapy in a few weeks. Others choose to continue in therapy for a year or longer to work intensively on a challenging condition or to address several issues. Everyone’s circumstances are unique. The length of counseling depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place. Many of my clients work with me for several weeks, accomplish their goals for therapy, move on with their life, and then come back years later to address a new issue that they would like help with.
What if I have done therapy in the past and it was not helpful?
Your past therapy may not have worked because the approach or the therapist was not the right fit for you. Or it may not have been helpful because you were not as ready then as you are now to address important issues and make meaningful changes in your life. The most important factors for making positive change in therapy are a positive relationship with your therapist, a therapeutic approach that is a good fit for you, and your willingness to sincerely work on making the changes you desire.
What if I am currently working with a therapist?
If you are making good progress in your current therapy, continue working with your therapist. Some therapists refer clients to me as an adjunct to their on-going therapy. For instance, some clients who already have a therapist work with me briefly using one of the specialty services I provide, such as EMDR to process a trauma or biofeedback to develop emotion regulation skills. Once they complete their work with me, they continue working with their primary therapist.
How will we meet safely during the pandemic?
Currently I am meeting with clients remotely via a confidential videoconferencing platform or in person. I have found that meeting via videoconference works very well, as long as my clients have a strong enough internet signal and a private space in which they can speak.
In person sessions take place in a screened porch or in my office, which is a very large space with high ceilings, fans, and many windows and a door that can remain open. Both spaces afford ample ventilation and social distancing to ensure safety.
Biofeedback sessions do need to take place in person, so that clients can use the biomonitoring equipment necessary for the training. After one or two initial sessions, some clients elect to purchase their own biofeedback equipment for home use with periodic guidance from me via videoconference.