1. How does therapy work?
When a person is considering therapy, it is because everything he or she has tried to solve a problem hasn't worked.  The painful feelings haven't gone away, the issue continues to be unresolved.  Therapy can help in a number of ways. First, talking to someone removed from the situation brings hope, and a fresh perspective.  In therapy, the therapist also considers factors that you may not have.  The therapist looks at the immediatechallenges, while also looking at past, and recurrent experiences in the person's life, to determine what stands out.  Second, the therapist can help distinguish between what is happening on the surface, and what are the deeper issues, that can be harder to see.  Third, and most importantly, therapy is a unique space where a person can connect with another, wiithout being judged, criticized, or advised.  This kind of safety and empathic understanding can help shift some of the internal beliefs and expectations that have controlled how your needs are addressed.  Real life and the privacy of our own minds rarely offers this combination of support.

2.  How long does therapy take?
Therapy can be short in duration, or longer depending on the goals you set for your theraputic work. I encourage anyone interested in trying therapy, especially for the first time, to take advantage of my 20 minute free consultation to discuss what you can expect given your goal for therapy.  We can look at both short and long term goals and assess what is best for you at this time.  In that session I can offer other sliding scale options and other resources to help you reach your goals if I am not the best fit for your needs. 

3. I have never tried therapy before.  How do I start?
Just like finding a good doctor you may find it comforting to get to know your care provider before proceeding with a major health issue.  Most therapists are more than happy to meet with you for one session so you can see if you feel comfortable with that person.  Meeting with two or three therapists before choosing one that suits you the best is not uncommon, and is a good way to feel like you are moving forward in a way that will work well for you.  In that initial session you can ask the therapist about their background, ask about how she or he works, and what she or he has experienced with concerns similar to yours.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist