How Can Therapy Help Me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I Really Need Therapy? I Can Usually Handle My Problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why Do People Go To Therapy And How Do I Know If It’s Right For Me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, and relationship problems. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What Is Therapy Like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly at first, and often less frequently over time).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviours or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What About Medication Vs Psychotherapy?
It is well established that medication is rarely the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. When appropriate, we can help you work with your medical doctor to determine what’s best for you. In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do You Take Insurance, And How Does That Work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them – or talk to your Human Resources Department at your workplace if your insurance coverage is through your workplace extended health benefits plan. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my benefits for mental health services?
- Is there an amount covered per therapy session or a total annual amount?
- Are the services of a licensed psychologist covered? A social worker? Other therapists?
- Do I need a referral from my family doctor?
Does What We Talk About In Therapy Remain Confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of client and therapist interaction. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. Every therapist should review their confidential disclosure agreement with you, and you should be given an opportunity to ask questions before agreeing to it. This is called “Informed Consent.” For more information about confidentiality, please see our privacy and policies page.
Our commitment to maintaining your privacy extends beyond the confines of our office walls. If your therapist happens to cross paths with you in a public place, he/she will not greet you unless you greet him/her first.