Q – I am very nervous about beginning therapy. Do most people feel this way?
A – It is quite common for people to feel uneasy & apprehensive about beginning therapy, even when this isn’t their first time doing so. It is my first & foremost goal that you feel comfortable, both in our initial session & all meetings thereafter.make changes noted I recognize that while I have been meeting new people & hearing the intimate details of their lives for many years, I doubt that most people will feel as at ease as I do. I am still a stranger to you. The trust, rapport & security of an effective therapeutic relationship takes time, so I always believe in applying the basic social work principle of “Starting where the client is”’, whether that means that you are an open book or or need to take things very slowly.
Q – I have never told anyone the details of what I am dealing with. Just thinking about it causes me great shame & embarrassment. I am worried what a therapist will think of me. Will you see me as crazy, or too far gone to be helped?
A – I’ve included this question as it is something that I hear all the time. Struggling with Anxiety, OCD, Trauma & other emotional issues can lead us to feeling like we are the only person in the world with these symptoms. Please, let me reassure you that this is so far from true! Millions of people struggle with the same or very similar thoughts, feelings & behaviors that you do. I always start off telling my new clients that there is truly nothing that they can say or do that will cause me to fall out of my chair in shock &/or be something that I haven’t already heard before!
After 25 years as a clinician, I have worked in a variety of environments & am not intimidated or upset by anything. Furthermore, as an expert in the treatment of these issues, I already know that Anxiety can cause us to have some incredibly irrational thoughts & behaviors. You Are NOT Your Thoughts! Nothing you share with me will impact how I see you as a person. Succinctly put, my office is a Judgement-Free Zone!
Q – How does therapy work & what can I do to make it most effective?
A – The most effective results come when an individual can be honest, do all recommended assignments, & remain committed to achieving their goals. This typically means we begin with weekly appointments & slowly taper off in frequency when you begin to successfully achieve your goals. Clients with more chronic or complex issues may continue to check in every 3-6 months or less frequently, on an as needed basis. I am a solution-focused therapist, meaning that I believe that people come to therapy to seek solutions to their problems. I am not of the mindset that therapy should be lengthy or indefinite. The greater your commitment & effort is in therapy, the more successful the results.
As you’ve probably read elsewhere in my website, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is all about empowering you to gain the tools that you need to live a healthy & productive life. In the beginning, you are learning to get into the driver’s seat, take the wheel & be confident enough to choose your future path. I am helping you to create a map, find the best routes, with the least detours & construction, to get you where you want to go (Yes, I like using metaphors & analogies!). Although I am educated & trained in understanding & treatment of various mental health issues, I still believe that you are the expert on the subject of “You”. Regardless of what may have brought you to my practice, you ultimately are the key to making successful changes. Together, I know that we can accomplish this. I look forward to answering your questions & working to help you find the joy, peace & happiness that exists when you are able to be an active participant in your own life.