Is therapy right for me?
There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with mood disorders including anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as an illness or accident, a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth.
Therapy can provide you with support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for a range of issues including brain chemistry imbalances such as depression, anxiety and ADHD, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, serious illness, and better self-care. It can help you gain a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values.
- Developing skills for improving your relationships.
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy.
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures.
- Improving communications and listening skills.
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones.
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or other relationships.
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence.
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. We’ll begin by discussing the primary issues and concerns in your life, and going over the pertinent details of your personal and health history. From there we’ll come up with a plan of action to address your concerns and work towards your goals. It is common to initially schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes, though session frequency and length can vary. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People who get the most from psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy or coaching?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy, or medication and coaching is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause frequently cannot be solved solely by medication. Simply put, pills don’t teach skills. Therapy addresses the causes of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress, medications when needed help make the learning and change process most effective. People can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
You also offer coaching. How do I know whether coaching or therapy is a better fit for me?
Coaching focuses on teaching you the missing skill sets you need to master those ‘final frontier’ issues that keep you from functioning at your best. Session length and frequency vary over the course of coaching based on the skills you’re developing. Coaching is typically conducted over the phone and via e-mail, and paid for/scheduled on a month to month basis. For those who aren’t also saddled with the challenge of significant mental or emotional distress, coaching is an ideal choice to address the following types of issues:
- Adult ADHD, Executive Skill deficits or learning disabilities.
- Counter-productive behavioral or lifestyle habits that negatively impact people personally, professionally and/or financially.
- Time, project, prioritization or pile managment challenges.
- Trouble maintaining consistency and focus, or difficulty with starting or finishing projects…especially boring ones.
- Impulse control problems, which can include impulsive spending, excessive screen or gaming time, inconsistent self-care, neglected relationships or erratic income.
It also bears mentioning that pills don’t teach skills for those with ADHD. Usually maximum improvement requires a combination of medication and/or supplements along with targeted life skill development, and the undoing of counter-productive habits. As a therapist and coach, I am trained to help clarify whether coaching or counseling alone will be sufficient to help you get the results you’re after, or if additional medical treatment may be necessary. A qualified health care provider skilled in treating ADHD can both diagnose and provide the optimal treatment for your needs. If you’re under the care of a physician, I can dovetail our work with your treatment to help ensure you get optimal results.
I also offer money coaching. An ideal foundation to typical financial planning or investing decisions, financial clarity counseling/coaching goes beyond budgeting to help individuals and couples keep their daily financial choices in alignment with the goals and values that matter most to them, create a financial daily living and savings plan that really works, and/or move past limiting financial beliefs. This work is also perfect for people who:
- Struggle with counter-productive money habits like impulsive spending, yo-yo debting, or money fog.
- Find themselves excessively worried or feeling disempowered in the face of economic uncertainty.
- Are self-employed professionals, dealing with the stress of an erratic income.
- Have recently dealt with a career setback, a divorce, or a health challenge, and need to rebuild their financial and personal lives anew.
- Have ADHD. My ADHD clients often find this work an invaluable adjunct to ADHD coaching or counseling, as consistent money management is often a challenge for them.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. A therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. A therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. A therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken to protect them from harm.
How about coaching, is that also confidential?
If you are a coaching or financial clarity counseling (money coaching) client with me, the same confidentiality laws apply.
Questions? Please contact me for further information, or to schedule your free, no-obligation 50 minute consultation appointment.