Recently, I have spoken with a number of people who reached out seeking therapy for the first time. We all have coping skills for dealing with life’s day to day stressors, but with the impact of the pandemic, many of these people are finding it more difficult than ever to deal with the many uncertainties we are now being faced with. “What is this going to be like?” they ask, in regards to the theraputic experience.
Knowing what to expect is very important to us as human beings. Having a sense of security as we go about our lives; a place that is stable and supportive. That can be an important function of therapy. It can also be a challenging place where we are able to take an honest (however difficult that may be) look at our thoughts and behaviors to learn more about the parts of ourselves that may be interfering with our abilities to have a more fulfilling existence.
My goal as a therapist is to help the people I work with uncover their potential so that they can live their best life – whatever that means for them. I provide a supportive and non-judgmental atmosphere in which we can explore the problematic areas of your life. It can be hard work, but also very rewarding.
It’s important that a good connection be made between patient and therapist for a successful treatment to take place. Therapists are not one-size-fits-all. In the beginning, establishing a relationship is what it’s all about. This is a paradoxical partnership – in that you as the patient are coming in to be accepted “as is”, while also acknowledging that you are here to change – and I as the therapist am here to provide an intimate bond, although I will rarely self disclose my own personal information in session. It’s a strange equation, and yet when it works it can really change your world. It’s also a collaborative partnership. I may have the clinical expertise from my training, but you are the authority of your own life experience.
Every treatment is a unique phenomenon, although there is a framework, much like there would be for any building, which supports the foundation of the process, whoever I’m working with. Time and money are major components of therapy. Many people struggle with a lack of structure in their lives. By committing to treatment, one is agreeing to show up weekly for their appointment at the same day and time. I’m available to work with patients more than once a week, but not less – I don’t believe that allows sufficient time to build an effective bond; therapy is not like going to get your hair cut every couple of weeks. Due to the pandemic, most therapists have switched to virtual platforms of treatment, which can allow for some flexibility as far as rescheduling goes, but that’s an exception. Vacations aside, you are financially responsible for your time each week. It’s yours.
“But what do I talk about when I get there?”
The sky is the limit.