How does therapy help?
Depending on your present situation and your reasons for seeking help, there are many benefits to therapy. If you are seeking diagnosis or treatment for a mental illness, therapy can help you better understand and manage your symptoms, outbreaks, and triggers. It can also offer you increased coping skills and open your eyes to new ways of dealing with situations that you may not have been aware of. Therapy can offer problem-solving skills, provide support, and help you work through life changes, allowing you to see your circumstances as personal growth opportunities instead of a burdens or obstacles.
Some specific skills therapy can provide are:
- Emotional management, including, but not limited to anger, jealousy, grief and depression.
- Coping mechanisms to help you work through situations that typically cause you anxiety, fear, or avoidance.
- Stress-management techniques to help you deal with stress within your everyday life, such as with your job and family.
- Skills and techniques to help you better navigate relationships, or to work through relationship troubles.
- Problem solving skills to use when encountering issues that typically cause you to shy away or backdown, such as social situations or public speaking.
- Improving self-love, self-confidence and body image.
- Improving communication through newly acquired listening skills and assertiveness training.
- Understanding your own strengths and positive attributes, and learning to quiet your inner negative critique.
- Finding resolution to issues that originally led you to therapy, such as panic attacks or trouble sleeping.
While the decision to begin therapy is an individual choice, in many regards it may be helpful for everyone. There are a wide variety of reasons to begin therapy, ranging from diagnosed mental illness to managing daily stress or a transitional period of your life. It is your treatment plan that will vary based on your individual circumstances.
What to expect on your first visit?
Your first therapy session has two main goals:
1. Assess your circumstances
In our first meeting, we will assess your current circumstances. While my areas of expertise may be consistent with your reasons for coming to therapy, we will address specific areas that are unique to you, and your current needs. From there, we will determine what type of therapy is best for you, what it will entail, and what you can expect. It’s important to understand that this is a collaborative effort, and that assessment of the treatment itself is an ongoing process, with your input being of paramount importance.
2. Build a relationship
Our first session will be more like a two way interview. I’ll get to know you, and you’ll get to know me. I will ask you questions to better understand your primary issues and concerns, as well as your history in terms of other relevant events in your life. You are welcome to ask questions as well. In order for therapy to be successful, it is imperative we establish a client/therapist relationship that is supportive and honest. In fact, it is the nature – and the quality – of our relationship that will determine the success of your overall therapy goals. According to multiple research studies, successful therapeutic relationships are the most accurate predictors of successful therapeutic outcomes. As such, each client/therapist relationship while unique, will have similar values and themes. The following is what you can expect from me:
- To be treated with compassion, empathy, respect, and understanding.
- To be presented with someone who is available to listen to you and listen to your interpretation of what you are currently experiencing.
- To receive knowledgeable and scientifically backed techniques and information to assist you in overcoming your mental health related struggles.
- To be in a safe, supportive, and confidential space.
- To receive real strategies and techniques you can use to enact positive changes on your life.
I look forward to getting to know you and helping you reach your therapy goals.
Please complete the following forms prior to your first therapy session.
Is therapy confidential?
As a general rule, all therapy sessions are confidential and anything you discuss with your therapist will remain between the two of you, unless you request otherwise. This is as per protection rules by law, which all therapists legally need to follow, and no information from the session can be disclosed without prior written consent from the client.
There are exceptions to this law however, and the therapist can disclose information from the session to legal authorities or appointed persons if any of the following are true:
- The therapist suspects abuse to a child, dependent adult, or an elder, or are made aware of domestic abuse. These situations all require the therapist to notify law authorities immediately.
- If the therapist suspects an individual has caused, or is threatening to cause severe bodily harm to another person, therapists are required to report it to the police.
- If an individual intends to harm himself or herself, expressing to the therapist for example, plans for suicide. While the therapist will attempt to work through this in the therapy session, if it appears to be unresolved or the client does not cooperate, additional action may need to be taken to ensure the safety of the client.