Your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be influenced by what is happening in the present, but are also informed by what you have experienced in the past. Therapy has the potential to help you gain insight into how the past and present interact, which may increase your ability to more effectively navigate your life moving forward.
Over time, you may find that you begin to slow down, notice, and work through patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving and relating that have interfered with your life. You may also find that you expand your ability to solve problems differently and increase your overall level of enjoyment in various aspects of life.
As one psychologist put it, "The goal [of therapy] is that you should know yourself more fully...to be more fully human, and a better version of yourself” (Dr. Jonathan Shedler).
The process of psychotherapy is a collaborate experience between you and me. The first few sessions will be spent getting to know each other, clarifying your presenting concerns, identifying a formal diagnosis (if there is one), and discussing what might be a helpful course of action. Treatment frequency and duration can vary, depending on your presenting concerns, and is informed by multiple relevant factors. Determining frequency and duration of treatment is also a collaborative process, and I encourage you to ask any questions you might have about your treatment throughout our work together.
It is important to keep in mind that there are several different approaches to therapy, and some forms of therapy (and therapists themselves) are not always the best fit for some patients. I will do my best to be attuned to this throughout treatment, and welcome you to openly share your thoughts and feelings about this with me as well. I will be more than willing to provide you with referrals to other therapists in the community if you do not feel my style of therapy is a good fit for you.
Contrary to what you might have experienced with previous therapists, or seen depicted on popular television shows or in the movies, I do not give patients direct advice about how to live their lives, how to think or feel, or how to believe or behave. I do not provide patients with worksheets, workbooks or homework assignments. In other words, I do not view myself as a your teacher or your life coach. My role is specific and quite unique: To create a space where you can openly share and explore your innermost thoughts, feelings, behaviors and experiences in a way that enhances your ability to take action toward altering self-concepts, basic attitudes and self-directed behaviors that have historically interfered with the quality of your life and relationships. If necessary, I will selectively employ a targeted, brief behavioral intervention for a patient experiencing a level of acute distress that prevents them from engaging in a session (e.g., panic attack).
*Borrowed from APSAA (developed by Gail Saltz, M.D.)