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, therapy 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. The hope is that 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. A session lasts 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Usually weekly sessions are best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. 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 keeping records. For therapy to “work,” you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.

What is Cognitive Therapy Like and Will It Help Me?

Cognitive therapy is a scientifically well-documented and successful treatment for a variety of mental health problems. Cognitive therapy is a structured and shorter-term therapy model that is active and collaborative.

One of the simple benefits of cognitive therapy is that it is not a mysterious process! Patients generally meet weekly and individually with a therapist at the beginning of treatment, and rapidly decrease the frequency of sessions once the treatment goal has been reached. In the initial interviews with a cognitive therapist, treatment goals are clearly defined between the therapist and the client. By clearly defining treatment goals, it will be easy to determine whether cognitive therapy is effective. The client is expected to actively collaborate with the therapist in the treatment process, and to complete weekly homework assignments in order to achieve treatment goals. Cognitive therapy is based on the ‘here and now’ – focused on how a client’s thoughts, beliefs, and actions affect her mood and ability to meet her goals today.

What can I expect from DBT?

DBT Skills Group is a 12 week curriculum. It is a 1.5hr educative and interactive skills building program with approximately 6-8 people in group. The focus is on the development of ‘tools’ to help you cope with emotionally stressful thoughts and situations. The curriculum is developed to help you build a Life Worth Living!
DBT Individual Sessions are offered in conjunction with the DBT Skills Group. This 50 minute session includes a discussion of the primary treatment goal/target that is set by you and your therapist. Regulating your emotions and behaviors is an essential component of DBT and you will be asked to use a Diary Card for self-monitoring between sessions. A Behavior Chain Analysis is used in session to develop awareness and insight into problematic behaviors when these arise.
DBT requires commitment, patience and practice of the skills. DBT is a powerful form of therapeutic intervention that is right for anyone wanting to get the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness and working towards change and acceptance.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy 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 to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. 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 and your personal goals and values
  • Developing skills for emotional regulation
  • Improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Finding 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

What if I don’t know what my goals are for therapy?

The very fact that you have brought yourself to therapy reflects that you are dissatisfied with certain aspects of your life.  More often than not a person is driven into therapy because they are unsure of their ‘life purpose’ and need some assistance in figuring it out.  Our job is to collaborate with you to determine what it is you are hoping to achieve for yourself – sometimes it is like working with a puzzle and finding ways to make the pieces fit!

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.