Common Questions

How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide 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
•    Developing skills for improving your relationships
•    Finding resolution to the 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 marriage
•    Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

What is therapy like?
Typically, it is regular practice to schedule weekly sessions with your therapist, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your progress – such as reading a relevant book or journaling to track certain behaviors. Suggestions can also include setting and tracking goals as well as connecting with other sources of support, such as nutritionists, yoga, AA or acupuncture. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
It is always 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.
Should I take medication?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental health problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved by medication alone. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the roots of distress and the behavior patterns that hinder progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.

What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on the psychological roots of emotional suffering. Its hallmarks are self-reflection and self-examination, and the use of the relationship between therapist and patient as a window into problematic relationship patterns in the patient’s life. Its goal is not only to alleviate the most obvious symptoms but to help people lead healthier lives

What is AEDP?
AEDP, or Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy, is a transformation-based, healing-oriented model of therapy, developed by Dr. Diana Fosha, Ph.D.  In AEDP, the emergence of new and healing experiences are fostered through the in-depth processing of difficult emotional and relational experiences. The sense of safety and security within the therapeutic relationship is essential and key.  Transformance is the motive force of AEDP.  It is a fundamental concept of AEDP which refers to the need that we all have to grow, to heal, and to transform into becoming who we know ourselves to be.  The therapist serves to facilitate these changes within the patient.

What is CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
The premise of cognitive behavioral therapy is that changing maladaptive thinking leads to change in affect and behaviors.  Treatment is sometimes manualized, brief and direct and geared towards addressing specific problems, such as phobias, social anxiety, compulsive and addictive behaviors and depression.  In CBT, the patient can at times be given “homework” assignments in which the patient and the therapist work together to craft an assignment to complete before the next session. The assignments range from keeping a daily log and “tracking” mood or other behaviors that are agreed upon in the therapeutic dyad or can be something like attending a person suffering from depression attending some kind of social event.  Effective CBT is dependent on a therapeutic alliance between the therapist and client and the patient’s participation in setting goals is an integral part of the treatment.  For example, an anxious patient may be asked to talk to a stranger as a homework assignment, but if that is too difficult, he or she can work out an easier assignment first. The therapist needs to be flexible and willing to listen to the patient rather than acting as an authority figure.

What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about the mind-body interaction and is the practice of paying close attention to what is happening to you in the moment. It is a powerful approach to stress reduction and can provide enhanced well being. The focus of Mindfulness is on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts and feelings and accepting them, but not attaching or reacting to them.  Using Mindfulness in therapy functions on the theory that when individuals who have historically had depression become distressed, they return back to automatic thoughts and beliefs that can trigger a depressive episode.  The goal of using Mindfulness in therapy is to interrupt these automatic processes and teach patients to focus less on reacting to “triggers” and instead accepting and observing them without judgment.  This mindfulness practice allows us to notice when automatic processes are occurring and to alter our reactions to be more reflective.

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