Psychotherapy is a technique to explore and resolving the difficulties of daily living. During a course of psychotherapy, you will learn about your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. For some people this may mean looking at communication styles or thought patterns. For others, problems may be more complicated and may involve examining and resolving long standing patterns of behavior in relationships.
Over the course of our lives, experiences and relationships shape the development of our adult personality; our interface with the world. Our personality should serve us well in all aspects of our lives. Often, however, we may not represent ourselves well in the world, leading to stress, conflict or potentially serious mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse. The aim of Psychotherapy is to resolve conflicts and restore functioning to a more adaptive and beneficial level, enabling relationships which are more rewarding and fulfilling.
There is no "right" or "wrong" way to use psychotherapy, there is no "right" or "wrong" issue to address in our work. The most important thing is that the experience is useful to you. I strongly believe in having you decide the goals for treatment and your own measures of success.
How does the process work?
As you begin psychotherapy, we will establish clear goals for our work. You may want to overcome feelings of hopelessness associated with depression. Perhaps you would like to control a specific fear that disrupts your daily life. Keep in mind that certain tasks require more time to accomplish than others. You may need to adjust your goals depending on how long you plan to be in treatment.
After a few sessions a good sign is feeling that the experience truly is a joint effort and that you and I enjoy a good rapport. Your feelings during treatment may "ebb and flow", again a sign that you are progressing - you should feel free to let me know if you find yourself feeling 'stuck' or lacking direction once you've been in psychotherapy for a while.
Our work will come to an end when you decide that your initial concerns, or others stemming from them, have been successfully resolved.Be assured, however, that my door is always open to future work - should you feel that it might be useful.
People often feel a wide range of emotions during psychotherapy. Some qualms about psychotherapy result from the difficulty of discussing painful and troubling experiences. This may actually be a positive sign indicating that you are starting to explore your thoughts and behaviors. Once again, my hope is that you will feel free to discuss these concerns as we work together.
Does Psychotherapy help?
Research suggests that therapy effectively decreases patients' depression, anxiety and related symptoms -- such as pain, fatigue and nausea. Psychotherapy has also been found to increase survival time for heart surgery and cancer patients, and it can also have a positive effect on the body's immune system. Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and physical health are very closely linked and that being involved in the process of psychotherapy can improve a person's overall health status.
There is convincing evidence that most people who have at least several sessions of psychotherapy are far better off than untreated individuals with emotional difficulties. One major study (published by the journal "Consumer Reports") showed that 50 percent of patients noticeably improved after eight sessions while 75 percent of individuals in psychotherapy improved by the end of six months. ( A brief list of abstracts of other efficacy studies are available here). Psychotherapy with children is similar in effectiveness to psychotherapy with adults.
Can Psychotherapy be useful for me?
Only you can answer that question. To help you to figure out the answer, here are a few useful questions to ponder:
The key question should not be "Do I have a serious problem?" but rather "Could I use some insight or support at this moment?"
If the answer is "Yes" - please contact me...