What is psychotherapy? Back to Questions Index
Psychotherapy is a creative space where you can examine areas in your life that are not working, identify possibilities, and increase the quality of life. In a general sense, individual psychotherapy is a once-a-week, 50-minute meeting during which issues affecting your life are discussed and explored. The therapist/client relationship provides a safe environment where change can take place on a deep emotional level. If we could just simply “think” or “medicate” our problems away we would. Therapy provides the scaffolding where you can grow towards your personal aspirations.
When should a person seek help? Back to Questions Index
Often people make the decision to begin therapy when they experience difficulty in life or discover they are stuck in a pattern they would like to break. Anxiety, depression, isolation, frustration, conflict in relationships, and fear often erode one’s quality of life. Entering into therapy is a way to sort out the areas of growth and identify a more fulfilling and meaningful way of living.
Why psychotherapy? Back to Questions Index
Psychotherapy can be very helpful in facilitating a variety of significant personal changes that may result in your being more authentically you. The therapy relationship provides greater understanding and insights that contribute to a more satisfying life. This typically means understanding and changing behavior that doesn't seem to be working for you - improving your relationships, conquering fears/anxiety and reducing depression. Psychotherapy can also enhance the development of the positive and valuable qualities in life - love, creativity, joy, playfulness, intimacy, sensuality and compassion.
Do my problems require professional help? Back to Questions Index
Unfortunately, many people have associated the use of therapy with some form of 'mental illness' or for those that have 'serious problems'. As a result, many individuals don't explore the possibility of therapy, believing their problems aren't serious enough to warrant professional help. The opposite is often true - those with less severe issues more readily benefit from therapy due to their ability to make more rapid changes.
How long does therapy take? Back to Questions Index
Length of treatment can vary from a few sessions to much longer depending on the individual and the areas of growth being addressed. It can often be estimated and discussed after we have identified your personal goals.
How do I choose a psychologist? Back to Questions Index
Choosing a psychologist may feel like a daunting task. Most clients seek recommendations from people who have had positive experiences with their particular therapist. Ideally, clients are able to speak initially with their prospective therapist and determine if there is a good fit. I provide a free 15-minute consultation via telephone in order to answer any questions you may have. I would encourage you to be honest with yourself and me about sharing any concerns or doubts you might have.
What can I expect in the first session? Back to Questions Index
The first session lasts about 90 minutes. We will discuss the issues that seem to be bothering you and determine if therapy can be helpful. If so, we will discuss a preliminary treatment plan, scheduling, and cost.
What can I expect to achieve from therapy? Back to Questions Index
Aside from reducing or eliminating the "symptoms" that lead you to seek assistance, psychotherapy can help bridge the distance between who you currently are and who you aspire to be. Most people experience a variety of changes that lead to a much more satisfying life - greater understanding of self and others; improved relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners; and many other positive gains.
What are the differences between a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, and a counselor?
Back to Questions Index
A clinical psychologist has a doctoral degree in psychology and typically specializes in therapy and psychological assessment. A psychiatrist has a medical degree and works primarily with medication. The term counselor is a general one and is often used by social workers and other non-doctoral therapists.
What is the difference between Psy.D. versus a Ph.D.? Back to Questions Index
The title Psy.D. represents a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology whereas the Ph.D. represents a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. Although very similar in nature, the Psy.D. degree places more emphasis on providing clinical interventions whereas the Ph.D. degree has more of an emphasis on conducting research.
What keeps you motivated as a psychologist? Back to Questions Index
I am strongly invested in the success of my clients. By success I mean forward motion; no matter how small, I cheer with them as they gain insight and mastery. I am inspired by hope for my clients because I recognize that the smallest changes add up to the most drastic transformations. My passion is providing a creative space for those undergoing the process.