What can therapy help with?
• Big decisions
• Dealing with dysfunctional families
• Stress and Anxiety
• Dealing with Major Life Changes
• Postpartum depression
• Bad habits
• Improving communication
• Being in relationship with an addict
• Low self-esteem
• Learning how to be happy
• Changing patterns with eating, sleeping, exercise, parenting etc.
• Specific situational stress
• Learning how to change negative family dynamics
• And more!
Who can benefit from therapy?
Anyone who is open to being honest and willing with work for change.
I have good friends to talk to, how is therapy different than that?
Therapy will be with an objective (there are ethical guidelines that do NOT allow therapists to treat people they have a former or current relationship) person who is primarily interested in your well-being. This is someone who has a lot of education and experience with people (therapists are the engineers of the people world) so they will be able to notice patterns, provide feedback and ask questions to help diagnose the root problem and work towards change. Good friends and family can help with these things. Let me assure you, a good therapist will make a bigger difference, in a quicker amount of time, with less mistakes and drama than any good friend or family member.
How do I know if a therapist is right for Me?
First start with what you can afford, location and schedule. Then think about who you would be most comfortable talking with. Imagine their gender, age, religious preference. Find therapists who meet your financial needs (check with your insurance panel about who is covered or ask yourself how much you can afford/month) and from that list, pick the ones that are located within your desired area. Then you need to start calling and emailing providers. Ask about their schedule, get a feel for their personality, ask about their experience and any other factors that are important to you. Give your new therapist 3 sessions. If you don’t like them after the 3rd session, try another. It took me 6 tries to find a therapist I could work with!
Things aren’t that bad. I don’t need therapy…right?
If things could be better, then therapy can help. Could your life be better? Is there room for growth and change? Then please consider getting therapy.
I highly recommend coming into therapy sooner rather than later. All negative feelings/trauma/change we experience remain unless dealt with. The longer you wait, the more engrained _________will be and the harder it will be to change. Think of it from an economic standpoint if you must. If you get help when it gets bad, then it might take 20 sessions to make change. If you go to get help earlier, it could be better in only 6 sessions!
I really can’t afford the time and $ needed for therapy. Why bother?
These can be real hurdles. In most areas, there are usually several qualified therapists with varied schedules, rates and insurances. Sometimes, if you get into therapy quick enough, 2 sessions a month might be all you need to make time and $ for. I find us therapists to be a supportive group, if I can’t take someone one because say our schedules don’t match, I try to find 3 referrals to give that I think might be a match.
I am a huge supporter of therapy. How do I encourage my friends or family to try it too?
This can be a challenge as there is still a stigma that says therapy is just for “crazy” people. Any time this particular friend or family member begins to talk to you about something that you think a therapist could help with, stop them and say. “You know I think a therapist could really help with this”. If you are willing, it might help to share about your own experience in therapy. My article entitled “Simplifying the Mind-Body Connection” found might help. It is important to stop this person from venting to you, if you allow them to vent, you are providing temporary relief and eliminating that felt need to “talk with someone”. I’ve had many a family or friend complain to me about my client’s issues with x, y and z. But the client is not sharing about x, y or z with me, so how can I bring it up with them without letting them know their family member ratted them out? My advice is always, why would they talk with me about it when they have you to talk with about it. If you want them to talk with me about it, you need to stop providing them with an opportunity to get release emotionally, psychologically or otherwise.
Greta Pankratz, LCSW