Fall leaves by a lake

There is a place in you where you have never been wounded,
where there’s a seamlessness in you,
where there is a confidence and tranquility in you…

—John O’Donahue

It’s normal to feel sad or anxious once in a while. However, if your symptoms persist and don’t go away, or if they are significant enough that they are causing problems for you at work or in your close relationships, talking with a professional mental health counselor can be beneficial

The therapy relationship is a unique relationship. Unlike other relationships where you sometimes have to be careful about what you say, in therapy your frustrations can be explored openly. Being able to talk freely without having to worry about another person’s feelings, can help you find solutions that you might not otherwise find. And, your confidentiality is protected by law. I also bring my professional training to help us identify underlying issues. Finally, in psychotherapy, we slow things down and work together, focusing solely on issues that are causing you distress.

I will begin by asking a question like: “What brings you to therapy?” or “How can I help?” or “Tell me your story.” Then I will listen attentively in order to understand your situation as clearly as I can. I take a stance of benevolent curiosity. I will ask questions designed to help you think more deeply and explore your issues more thoroughly. I will actively engage with you and share my insights when I feel it will be helpful to you. Afterwards, you should experience some relief from your symptoms, a better understanding of yourself (and your partner in couples therapy), an ability to work more productively, and the skills to relate to others more satisfactorily.

Psychotherapy can be as brief as 10-12 sessions or it can go on for several years or longer. It depends on how deep you want to go into your problems and how fast you are able to work. Problems that have been in place for a long time generally take longer to work through. If you decide you want a shorter term therapy, we can accomplish this by focusing on one issue until that is resolved to your satisfaction. I’ll work with you to find a speed and length of treatment that feels right for you.I usually meet with patients 1-2 times per week. Meeting more frequently can expedite the process.

You can make the most of your time in therapy by attending sessions consistently and talking openly about whatever comes to your mind as you think about what troubles you. At times, that can even mean talking about what you are experiencing in session with me. Unlike other social encounters, therapy is a place where we can really look at the problem, reflect on what is happening, why it is happening, and find more satisfying ways of moving forward.

The main difference is the area of focus. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have completed a residency in psychiatry. They can prescribe medications. Social Workers are trained in case management skills and can assist individuals with basic needs such as food and shelter in addition to providing counseling. Psychologists bring a solid background in research and have a PhD. Clinical Mental Health Counselors focus on achieving and maintaining good mental health and work with identifying and harnessing your strengths to achieve this.

I take your privacy very seriously.   I know that successful therapy depends on your being able to trust me with material that can be sensitive. I do not share your information with your primary care physician or anyone else without your written permission. The exception to this is if you disclose intent to harm yourself or another person or disclose abuse or neglect of a child or elderly adult. More specific details about my privacy policy will be given to you on or before your first visit.

One of the myths about Couples Counseling is that one partner will be blamed for the problems that the two of you are experiencing. When I work with a couple, I consider the “patient” to be the relationship between the two of you and we work to improve that. The goal of couples therapy is to create the kind of relationship that will benefit both of you

Do you have other questions?