Isn’t therapy for people with serious psychological problems?
Not at all. People seek therapy for a wide range of issues such as grief, relationship issues, work related stress, adjustment to changes, etc. You do not have to be profoundly ill to benefit from therapy. In fact, waiting can often exacerbate the issues you’re experiencing, leading to worsening emotional and mental health. There’s no shame in wanting a better life.
Why would I go to therapy when I can just talk to my friends and family?
Social support is indeed a very important aspect of overall well being. However, therapists are highly trained professionals who’ve spent years learning and practicing how to diagnose and treat cognitive, emotional, behavioral and relational issues.
The relationship between therapist and client is vastly different than the ones you have with friends or family. It is not reciprocal. This means every session, every interaction, you have with your therapist is all about you and your goals.
Another important distinction is confidentiality. Your therapist is bound by legal and ethical guidelines that ensure the things you share (with a few safety exceptions) are kept between the two of you.
Doesn’t therapy take years to help?
Length of time spent in therapy varies depending on the circumstances that brought you into therapy and your goals for treatment. Many issues can be resolved within a few months. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a short time each week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
It is important to note that therapy may not bring about immediate relief. In fact, some clients experience worsening thoughts, feelings, or behaviors right after beginning therapy. This usually levels out after working with your therapist for a short time. If this happens to you it is a good idea to discuss it with your therapist.
Why go to therapy when I can just take medication to help me feel better?
Medication can be a valuable tool for increasing mental and emotional health. But, unfortunately, medication cannot solve all problems. Medication treats symptoms. Therapy is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals. For some clients utilizing medication and therapy together provides exceptional outcomes.