Why do people seek therapy?
Some reasons for seeking therapy include stress management, communication, intimacy, depression, childhood abuse, addiction, and parenting. Therapists work within the realm of relationships. This includes romantic relationships, peer relationships, employment relationships, and parent-child relationships.
Embarking on the journey toward greater emotional health and wellness takes courage. In previous generations, therapy had a stigma and taboo that kept people from seeking help. In this current generation, people benefit from the normalization of therapy. Rather than being for ‘crazy’ people, society is trending toward acceptance of therapy as helpful for many different life situations, and for anyone who wants to improve his or her circumstances and receive assistance in grappling with life’s challenges. Greater access to information offers a more realistic perspective on what therapy entails, and on what the purpose of therapy is.
How is seeing a therapist different than talking to a friend or family member?
One unique aspect of a therapeutic relationship is confidentiality. Unlike a family member or friend, a therapist offers a neutral and objective perspective, and is not involved in your personal life. Confidentiality is a term referring to the sacredness and protection of what you share in therapy sessions. A therapist, outside of a certain few situations, is bound to keep what you share inside of the room.
What is the role of a therapist?
A therapist’s role is not to give you advice, but rather to help you to evaluate different options and empower you to make the decision that feels right to you. A therapist will help you to clarify the pros and cons of different choices.
Your therapist will partner with you on the journey toward healing and wholeness that you may have never dreamed possible, or may have previously felt was out of reach. You will have the chance to process hurts and wounds. You will make connections between the past and the present. The past is brought up for the purpose of moving through it, and into the light of freedom from its bondage. That which is faced and worked through no longer needs to live in the shadows and darkness, torturing you and holding you hostage.
What are therapy sessions like?
Your therapist will collaboratively develop treatment goals with you. This means that your therapist will not impose goals on you. Therapy does not usually have a pre-determined number of sessions, or length of treatment. This varies by your unique situation, including your goals. It is within your power to leave when and if you feel ready, or feel the need. If you decide to end therapy, your therapist will provide you with referrals for further treatment. Your therapist may also offer for you to return in the future for additional sessions.
The structure of therapy sessions is usually determined by what you bring into the room. Most therapists work from what you bring in, weaving it into the larger context of your goals. You may start by reviewing your week, including progress you have made and challenges that have arisen. Your therapist will likely guide you in an exploration of your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. You may end by discussing what you have gained from the session, reactions to the session, and what you plan on addressing during the upcoming week.