Many people find that they feel calmer, happier, more joyful and more capable through the process of therapy. Therapy can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, irritability and frustration, help to heal from grief and trauma, and improve general well-being. Therapy may help you feel more accepted and accepting of yourself, live your life more authentically, and increase your capacity to handle life’s difficulties. Therapy can also help people feel more connected to their partner, argue less often and more productively, and have more fun in your relationships.
How do I choose a good therapist?
The most important factors in choosing a therapist are your level of comfort with the individual and the therapist’s skill and experience. I recommend getting several referrals and speaking with each therapist on the phone to get an initial feel for whether or not you are comfortable with this person. You may want to ask about their experience working with the particular issue you are seeking help with, their background and their approach to therapy.
What should I expect?
For individual therapy, in the first session we will spend time talking about what brings you into therapy, some of your background and situation, and what your goals are. We will also discuss any questions you may have, complete any necessary paperwork, and schedule our next session. In the next few sessions, we will explore your situation more fully, build trust, and work on a plan to reach your goals. This may include exploring new ways of thinking, new activities and new skills, and is likely to involve “homework” as well as in-session work.
For relationship therapy, the first three sessions will be spent on assessment, getting to really know you and your relationship. From there, we will develop a plan together to work on your relationship goals and move toward them.
What is Gottman Method Couples Therapy and how can it help my relationship? Doctors John and Julie Gottman have developed a method of couples therapy based on their decades of research and practice working with couples. This method is based on what they have learned works for actual couples in relationships, observed at intervals over the years in their "Love Lab" in Seattle, and what works for successful couples who remain in happy, committed relationships over the years. Couples/relationship therapy can help to improve your friendship with your partner(s), manage conflict in a more productive and supportive way, and enjoy your relationship more.
Do I have to be in therapy for the rest of my life?
No. Many people find that they can reach their goals in therapy in a short time, about 3-4 months, or find that it is helpful to attend therapy at different times in their lives to address different goals. Others find long-term exploration and change to be beneficial and supportive. When we are discussing your goals, we will work together to determine about how long therapy will last.