Therapy FAQs

Do you have some burning questions about psychotherapy? You wonder what it’s really like or if your experience 10 years ago is what you should expect? Did you hear about someone else’s bad therapy experience and you are worried that is what it all looks like?

Take a look at some common Frequently Asked Questions about psychotherapy

I’ve never been to see a counselor, psychotherapist or psychologist. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Nope. 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. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing. Everyone needs help now and then. 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 advice or perspective comes with a personal bias and an invested interest in the changes and decisions you make. This is a place for you to really hear yourself and figure out what you want and need. As a Florida psychologist I can help you approach your situation in a new way – explore different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Additionally, psychotherapy is confidential. You won’t have to worry about who knows what.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be effective for symptoms, but it alone cannot solve all issues. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing. We expand on your strengths and your patterns, which can help you 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 and your emotional life is not easy, but once we get a groove and we build a working relationship, it will become less uncomfortable and more relieving to not hold everything alone.

For further glimpses into the psychotherapy experience, check out one of the following books from an acclaimed therapist (and one of my all-time favorite authors) 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 depends on what you want to get out of it. Some people choose to be in therapy 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 all to themselves where they’re not focused on meeting other people’s needs.

I work both short-term with clients and long-term. That means I can work with someone on a struggle or piece of their life for about 6 weeks AND I also have those therapeutic relationships where a client is diving deep and working with me for years. Much of the length of therapy depends on your commitment to the therapy process. Your investment in personal development 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 trajectory than someone coming three times a week for 90 minutes. It all depends on what makes sense given your life context.

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 and continue to do your own exploration, reflection and homework (if warranted) outside of the session. I’m not the expert on you, so it takes some time for me to understand what’s truly going on and how best to work with you.

How do I choose a therapist in Florida?

It is important to not just find someone who has the education and expertise to help you reach your goals, but also someone that you feel comfortable opening up to and being real with. Check out my How to Find A Therapist In Miami blog post on finding a therapist locally in south Florida.

Or you’re welcome to give me a call at 954-336-4049 and we can use a free 15 minute phone consultation to see if it makes sense to work together.


Karin Lawson

2312 Wilton Drive, Suite 22
Wilton Manors, FL 33305