What Can I Expect in Therapy?

Individual therapy is your opportunity for you to take time to focus on yourself; what’s bothering you, how it has been impacting your daily life, and how to work through those issues. These problems might be in your relationships or how you feel about yourself, your worries, fears, thoughts or feelings. Studies show that talking with a supportive, non-judgmental, caring person helps us to feel better. Feeling heard, cared about and supported by an objective person helps to lighten the burden and stress of what has been bothering you. This opens you up to make room for making change.

As a long time sufferer of major depression I had tried therapy several times. In the winter of 2013-2014 I hit a new low and decided I needed to confront my illness and was willing to do whatever I had to do to get better. This included therapy and I was lucky enough to have found Deb. I committed to once a week for a year. It’s been about 10 months and I can’t believe the change. It’s so much more than just psychotherapy. She utilizes different practices to help me work though trauma, regulate my nervous system, cope with stresses and deal with low self esteem and shame… It’s hard to explain all that she does, but it works. It’s the only form of therapy that I can see and feel the difference in my life. It’s a lot of work, having wellness and recovery, I had to first commit to living and doing what was necessary to get better. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without Deb.
– Client

What can I expect in individual counseling?

Woman transitions from sad to happyYou can expect me to be here for you ~to listen, validate, process, encourage, and offer feedback. I listen attentively, with compassion and interest. I will ask you questions or reflect what I am aware of, to make sure I understand your perspective or experience. Together we will process your feelings, thoughts and perceptions that seem to be part of what is bothering you. We will also identify your strengths and help you to become more resilient. And at times, it may be helpful to hear some psycho-educational information.

The benefit of pycho-education, is to provide you with information to help you have a better understanding about something that you may be experiencing. This may help you to feel more in control, or even to let go of control, and reduce the stress you experience. You may feel more relaxed when you are aware of what you are going through. Sometimes it can help to “normalize” what or how you feel about yourself. As you understand what’s going on, it decreases the self  blame and can help you to feel more compassionate towards yourself.

This hour session is your time to bring in thoughts and feelings that are important to you. This is a time for you to examine the ways you have protected yourself through ineffective coping mechanisms, distortions, numbing out or silence. We will work through them by talking, or using other creative approaches that can help you to express your feelings and experiences and to bring more awareness to them. These might include using felts, pillows, sand tray, or art. All of these experiences are up to you.

It may be helpful for you, as you enter into therapy to have an idea of what you want to get out of therapy. Some issues may be resolved in a short amount of sessions. You may be looking for a therapist to bounce ideas off of or hear your point of view. But oftentimes, there are other issues that arise, that are part of layered experiences in your life that are uncovered as you talk. These may take more sessions. Usually, therapy is not a quick fix, but a process of discovering what is painful, what change is necessary for healing and allowing time to heal.

Some questions you might ask yourself might include: what is going on in your life that you want to come in to therapy, what would healing look like for you, what are your hopes or expectations of therapy and the therapist.

I am here to help! Contact me at (303) 514-4732 or click here.