There are many possible reasons that brought you to seek out therapy today. Whatever the reason, know that you are not alone. I am here to help you, and even if – for whatever reason – I’m not the right therapist for you, I can help you find the resources and support that you need.
Below is a list of some of the common issues worked on in Personal Therapy.
• Coping Skills
• Anxiety and Stress Management
• Life Changes / Adjustment to new situations
• Relaxation Techniques
• Goal Setting
• Personal Growth
I can help you with these areas, as well as other issues that may be causing you distress.
Personal Therapy – FAQ
Q. Is therapy right for me?
A. Participating in therapy can result in a number of benefits to you, including a better understanding of your personal goals and values, improved interpersonal relationships, and resolution of the specific concerns that led you to seek therapy. Working toward these benefits requires a very active effort on your part including honesty and openness to change your thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors. Therapy is right for you if you are ready to get the most out of your life by working to solve problems, become more self-aware, and to embrace healthy changes.
Q: Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my own problems.
A: Seeking out therapy or a therapist isn’t really about whether you can handle your problems on your own. The therapeutic process is about getting more out of life, your relationships, and the way you experience yourself by developing tools that help you to navigate life’s difficulties. Everyone goes through challenging times. It is these challenging events that sometimes turn out to be the most rewarding when we handle them with wisdom and care. Therapy is a resource you can use to develop tools that will help you conquer these challenging hurdles.
Q: How can therapy help me?
A: Participating in therapy is a unique experience for each individual. Therapists are trained to deal with the many complicated issues facing people today including anxiety, depression, changing behaviors and evaluating thoughts and beliefs. Even if you do not suffer from a clinical diagnosis, therapy can help you grow as a person, get to know yourself better, learn why you do the things you do, and reflect on your life in a powerful and meaningful way.
Therapy is a good fit for you if you would like to do any of the following:
• Attain a better understanding of yourself, your goals and your values
• Develop skills for improving your relationships
• Find resolution to lingering childhood issues
• Learn new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
• Manage anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
• Improve your communication and listening skills
• Change old behavior patterns and developing new, healthier habits
• Discover new ways to solve problems in your marriage or with family members
• Improve your self-esteem and boost your self-confidence
• Gain a better understanding and acceptance of your personal sexual identity
• Improve sexual and relationship satisfaction
• Learn how to become comfortable with yourself for who you are and to reduce feelings of shame and guilt
Q: How do I know when I am ready to start therapy?
A: Only you can know whether you are ready to begin therapy. If you are ready to make changes in your life and within yourself, you may be ready. Having the courage to begin therapy will allow you to truly discover whether you are ready to take charge and improve your life. Many people come to therapy when they are going through a major life transition such as unemployment, starting a new job, getting a divorce, beginning a new relationship, or are simply fed up with being unhappy. Therapy can provide some much-needed help and support during these challenging times.
Q: What is therapy like?
A: Nobody experiences therapy in the same way and no therapy session is entirely predictable. Depending on the issue you are bringing to therapy, I will tailor my approach to best suit you and your needs. I draw from a number of different treatment approaches including cognitive-behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, mindfulness, psychodynamic, systemic, developmental, and psycho-educational therapies. We will decide together whether we will do individual, couples, or family therapy – all of which require different approaches.
In the first session, we will address the business aspects of our collaborative relationship. We will discuss fees, sign contracts, and fill out intake forms. I will explain your rights to confidentiality and any legal exceptions that may arise.
Over the course of our first sessions together, I will gather information from you and discuss with you my understanding of the issues at hand. Together, we will create a treatment plan and goals for therapy. If you have any questions about therapy, the possible risks, my expertise, or about your specific treatment plan, I welcome your inquiries.
We will always go at your pace, and you can always tell me when certain topics are difficult for you to approach. This time is your time. We will work together to achieve the goals you desire on your terms.
Q: How long will therapy take?
A: In general, therapy sessions consist of 50-60 minute meetings once per week. However, this is adjustable depending on your needs, your schedule, and the complexities of the issues we are tackling together.
Change can sometimes be swift and easy, but often it will be slow and difficult. Our sessions will continue for as long or as short as necessary to reach your goals. Some individuals benefit from short-term work (about six to eight sessions) while others benefit from long-term work in which we may delve into the subconscious and the deeper, more pervasive life issues. Still others benefit from specific guidance and coaching, which may occur on an as-needed, intermittent basis. We will discuss all of these options and find which one is best for you. We will go at a pace that feels right for you – one that will help you achieves your goals as quickly as possible without rushing through the process.
Q: How do I know if therapy is going to work for me?
A: Success depends on a good match between you and your therapist. In the first few sessions, one of our main tasks will be to explore whether we are a good fit for each other. If so, great! We can continue to work together to reach your goals. If not, I will gladly refer you to someone who I feel would be better suited to help you with your specific needs. Again, my goal is to help you achieve your goals; whether that is with me or with another therapist, the goal is for you to be happy and healthy.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. Therapy is most effective when you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work we do together in therapy sessions, I 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 behaviors or taking action on your goals. If you are ready to bring to fruition the healthy changes you seek, you will need to put forth the necessary effort. Therapy can be difficult at times. It is my job to help you find the easiest path and to help you walk that path at a steady, nourishing pace.
Q: What if I need help right now?
A: If this is a life-threatening emergency or you feel you are in crisis, please go immediately to your local hospital, or dial 911, or call the suicide crisis line at 800-479-3339.
If you heart’s been broken, you recently lost your job, are grieving the loss of a loved one, or have had another important life change, I’m here to help you through this tough time. Contact me right away and we can schedule you for my next available appointment.
Resources for Individuals
• San Diego Access, Crisis and Suicide Counseling Line: (888) 724-7240
• Psychology Today Magazine – Definitions of Mental Conditions.
• San Diego Psychological Association – Referrals to Other Therapists, including those who accept insurance and lower fees.
• American Psychological Association – Lots of great information about mental conditions, treatment, and research.