I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help and have the guts to make that help happen, have loads of courage. We are social creatures and not meant to shoulder the world on our own. To quote shame researcher Dr. Brené Brown, “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
When you rely solely on the people you know, their perspective comes with an invested interest in the changes and decisions you make. Our work is a place for you to really hear yourself and figure out what you desire and where you’re conflicted. As a therapist and psychoanalyst I support your situation differently – explore various perspectives, listen to you with curiosity, and work to see you fully. Additionally, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis is confidential, which isn’t always the case with friends and family.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective for symptoms, but it alone cannot bring about our desires and make us whole. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack your life. We work to have a clearer understanding of your self and how you navigate the world around you. Medication can sometimes help you become more engaged in therapy when the symptoms you experience are so debilitating that you could not otherwise concentrate, leave the house, meet with another person, and create the change in your life that you want to see, etc.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
My highest recommendation is to be as open as you can. Effective therapy requires you to take risks and talk about the things that you want to avoid talking about. The desire to avoid a topic, theme, relationship and/or incident in your life is a clue. It actually might be an important piece of the puzzle. I know sharing parts of your self, your thoughts, your desires, and your dreams is not easy. Once we get a groove and we build a trusting connected working relationship, it will become less uncomfortable and more relieving to not hold everything alone, to have a partnership that is like no other.
For further glimpses into the psychotherapy experience, check out one of the following books from an acclaimed therapist (and great story teller) Dr. Irvin Yalom: The Gift of Therapy, Love’s Executioner, Creatures of a Day, or Every Day Gets a Little Closer.
How long will it take?
Everyone’s circumstances and struggles are unique to them. The length of time in psychotherapy or psychoanalysis depends on what you want to get out of it. Some people choose to be in therapy or analysis for years. This is not always because it’s a dire need, but because they enjoy the unique experience of therapy and having a space to themselves where they are not focused on meeting other people’s needs.
I tend to work long-term with clients. Much of the length of therapy depends on your commitment to the therapy process. Your investment and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place help determine how long we might work together. Someone coming once a week for 50 minutes, is going to have a different momentum than someone coming two or four times a week.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
Take risks. Speak your mind. Show up (both literally and emotionally). Be an active participant in the session. I’m not the expert on you, so it takes some time for me to understand what’s truly going on. I'll be curious where you are feeling stuck and I will want to fully hear your stories, your history and your inner life.