I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do something professionally. A psychologist helps you approach your situation in a new way–listens to you without judgment or expectations, helps you listen to yourself and see different perspectives, and may teach you new skills. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be effective – and some psychological difficulties have a medical component – but it alone cannot solve all issues. Research has shown that medication alone is not usually the most effective solution, although medication can be an important adjunct to therapy. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you move forward. And I can help you find a prescribing professional and/or coordinate with your prescriber to treat both psychological and medical aspects of your situation.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Each person has different issues and goals for counseling, so it is different depending on the individual. I first meet with you and get an idea of what is going on for you. We then discuss what your personal goals might be – or perhaps work to help you develop goals. We go step by step, taking the journey together. But I have skills and experience to help guide you.

How long will it take?

This varies. Most of the time we are able to make progress in a few weeks, but many people prefer to work longer and make deeper discoveries and changes. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish what you want depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.