I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Sadly, people choose to stay emotionally unhappy, miserable and even isolated, rather than ask for help. Asking for professional help is not a sign of weakness. “You’re supposed to do it by yourself” is a cultural myth. Is it weak to go to a dentist or physician? Still, a lot of people believe it’s a sign of weakness and don’t know how to ask for help. In my therapy practice, the first thing we work on is asking for help. When people learn how to ask for emotional help, they are well on their way to living life better.
What’s the difference between talking to a therapist and talking with my friends?
Oftentimes, speaking to our friends is just what we need and should do. But there are times when what you might be struggling with may be beyond what your friends can handle. That’s when a trained therapist can be enormously helpful. We need to take our emotional difficulties as seriously. I’ve practiced therapy for over 30 years. In that time I’ve worked in a variety of settings, helping thousands of people with a wide range of emotional problems. I have the training and experience to help in ways that friends and family might not be able to do.
What’s wrong with just taking medication?
We live in a drug-oriented culture. We want a pill for most everything. However, for emotional problems, medication alone cannot resolve what’s going on with you. What medication does is treat the symptoms. An anti-anxiety drug has you feel less anxious. But your anxiety returns when the medication wears off. I am not against medication. Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy. Our work together is to discover what is happening you and help you create new ways to live your life. That may or may not include medication.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we have individual therapy or couples?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me then we would discuss it together. Depending on what is happening, we’ll decide if you can handle meeting as a couple or need to meet with me individually to start. Every couple is different. Some couples have reached the point where they can’t talk without fighting. Others just need help creating a better dialogue. When you call me, together, we will begin to create a therapy that is designed specifically for you.
How long do I need to stay in therapy?
Everybody is different, thus everybody’s therapy experience is different. The length of treatment depends on many factors including, how serious are the issues. I often ask clients how long have they been struggling with these issues? If it’s been years, then one cannot expect a quick and easy fix. Usually, both the therapist and the client have a good idea when they have successfully completed the major challenges. You will notice that you have new energy, interest, and enthusiasm about other aspects of your life – as well as the confidence to tackle new challenges on your own.
Can I do therapy by email. phone or Skype?
Therapy is not advice giving, so it cannot be conducted by email. There may be times when you need to speak with your therapist by telephone. But I would not recommend any length of treatment by telephone. It is insufficiently personal. Therapy via Skype is becoming popular and can be effective when visits in person are not practical or possible. However, there will be limitations to the treatment and it should not be the primary option. Therapy is emotional work. You shouldn’t underestimate the skill it takes and you should not try to distance yourself from the process if at all possible.