Why do people seek therapy?
People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, a psychologist can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. An individual session lasts 45 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Most people find that one or two sessions a week are most helpful. During the time between sessions, it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or trying out new behavior.
What benefits can I expect from working with a psychologist?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. A psychologist can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the difficulties of daily life. Some of the potential benefits available from therapy include:
- Gaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
- Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Are you the right therapist for me?
Choosing your psychologist is an important decision. In addition to considering credentials and competence, having a good rapport is critical. Research suggests that the single most important factor in therapeutic success is the alliance, or relationship, that you have with your therapist. To help ensure a good therapeutic fit, I encourage prospective clients to schedule a complimentary 20-minute consultation. This consultation implies no obligation for either of us but rather provides a chance to discuss your situation in more depth, get a sense of whether we would enjoy working together and understand better what next steps would be most helpful for you.
You can contact me at (202) 281-0836 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your complimentary 20-minute consultation, or make an appointment online here. Weekday, evening and weekend hours are available. I look forward to talking with you soon.