Since building my practice, I’ve been intrigued by questions asked by both clients and friends surrounding both the process and results people can expect from therapy. I’ve learned from talking to countless clients how myths or false assumptions can interfere with getting the help one seeks. So, let’s talk about what therapy is, what therapy is not and when it’s time to work with a professional therapist.
How many times have you had these thoughts about therapy?
- Therapy is only for those with serious mental health issues. That’s not me!
- I don’t need a therapist; I should be able to fix myself.
- Once I start going to therapy, I’ll have to go forever.
If you have ever had any of these thoughts, you’re in good company. However, each of these assumptions is simply not true! In fact, these misconceptions are what keep us from the life-changing benefits therapy can bring to our lives.
So let’s address these misconceptions and see if we can do something to change them so that you can get the help you need and get to where you want to be.
Let’s talk about some of the more pressing questions surrounding therapy
First, what is therapy?
Therapy is a scientifically proven process that helps you understand how your mind works. It helps you identify your feelings, build different thought patterns, and relate to your thoughts differently so you can live the life you want. In my practice, I primarily use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) where together we will set goals, track your progress, and measure results. This approach is skill based to help you build emotional strength so you can eventually leave therapy and more forward in life.
Myth 1: Therapy is only for people with serious mental health issues
If you approach mental health with a preventative care mindset, you can identify and treat declining trends in your emotional well-being before they become insurmountable.
Nothing can be farther from the truth! While therapy can help those with serious mental health issues, most of my clients are not suffering from a clinically psychological disorder. If you approach mental health with a preventative care mindset, you can identify and treat declining trends in your emotional well-being before they become insurmountable. I’ve found when client’s address issues early on, they often spend considerably less time in therapy. Therapy is for everybody and can be the catalyst for lasting change.
Here are some situations where you should seriously consider meeting with a therapist:
- An issue causes significant distress in your daily life
- Nothing you’ve done seems to help
- You start over using or abusing something (or someone) to try and resolve your issues
- People around you are beginning to give you signs something’s “off” with your behavior
Myth 2: I don’t need therapy. I can fix myself!
At some point, all of us have been stressed out, anxious, overwhelmed, sad, or depressed. No one is immune to these very human feelings. Often times, we can work these issues out on our own by changing our lifestyles, reading, exercising or by talking with friends and loved ones. Other times, no matter how hard we try and fix things, nothing seems to work.
When these issues start to negatively affect our lives, relationships, and/or work it’s time to seek professional help. In severe cases, anxiety, depression, and stress can put our health and lives at risk.
Therapy is often the fastest, most effective route to overcome emotional and behavioral issues that keep you from living the life you want. Sometimes, you can get better on your own, but in most cases, you’ll get better results, faster, with a therapist.
Myth 3: Once I start therapy, it will never end
Effective therapy has an end date! Why? Because the goal of therapy is to teach you tools that you can use every day.
My goal as a therapist is to help my clients reach their goals in the timeliest manner possible. I don’t want you to be in therapy one day longer than you have to. When your therapy goal is met, you will naturally phase out of therapy. Although you may not know the end goal after the first session, you will work with your therapist to establish an anticipated end date soon after.
It’s important to note: you should start seeing progress after just a few visits!
Initially, most clients meet with their therapist once a week. Sometimes you feel worse before you feel better. That’s normal. Some clients schedule extra sessions during the hard weeks.
However, when you feel as if you’ve met your goals or you’ve learned the skills you wanted to learn, you will have a final session where your therapist will typically schedule a follow up session in 4 to 6 weeks.
I have found on average, most clients attend 6 sessions before deciding next steps. That means that within 6 weeks it’s pretty common to feel like you have the tools you need to continue progress on your own. If not, you can continue on until you are ready.
Are you ready to move from where you are to where you want to be?
Time is ticking. Why wait to begin your transformation?
I’d love to help you become the best you can be and offer a free first consultation to see if I’m the right therapist for you. If that sounds like the reasonable first step, schedule a FREE appointment. And then let’s just see how it goes.