Therapy + Coaching For Couples In-person or online via skype
Couples therapy or relationship counseling is designed to help heterosexual and gay couples work through relationship and communication problems and create or reconnect to love, respect and emotional closeness. I work couples in crisis and high-functioning couples helping them listen for and understand the emotional needs of the other. Effective couples therapy should provide support and guidance so that communication can feel safe and constructive. Additionally, couples can learn tools to navigate problems, work through conflicts and increase the attachment bond, which results in deepened intimacy and trust. I am excited to use the many skills and tools I've acquired to help clients create a more successful partnership as a result of my training with The Gottman Institute and by integrating EFT or Emotionally Focused Therapy into sessions.
What Research Tells Us About Relationships:
- Emotional distance can be as destructive to a relationship as conflict
- The way a couple fights, repairs and resolves problems is more important than what they fight about
- Attachment insecurity leads to conflict and or distance
- In distressed relationships, some partners shut down and withdraw as a way to manage intense emotions
- Couples must nurture fondness and respect for the other in order to thrive together
- Couples need shared meaning in their lives to remain connected
Therapists who have received training from The Gottman Institute are interested in using a range of effective interventions to help partners in couples therapy master difficulties including, learning to:
- Re-ignite the flames of fading romance and friendship
- Build shared meaning, values and symbols for long term connection
- Bridge the chasm of emotional distance and building a culture of appreciation
- De-escalate volatile arguments and gridlocked fights
- Eradicate criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling
- Heal from affairs and other breaches of trust
- Learn to listen and understand the needs of the other
- Communicate more effectively
- Develop healthier problem-solving skills and learn to resolve conflict productively
- Identify and express personal needs clearly and openly
- Create shared goals, values and dreams
- Express, disclose and resolve painful emotions
- Work through unresolved trauma and issues of the past and wounds that have occurred in the relationship
Common reasons couples decide to seek relationship counseling:
- To heal from emotional affairs and infidelity
- Divorce, remarriage and blended family
- Sexual problems such as incompatibility or lack of desire
- Health or emotional problems
- Healing from addictions or substance abuse
- Money and financial concerns
- Difficulties with communication or expressing needs
- Conflicts about values
- Different parenting styles
- Cultural differences
- Fertility issues and related stress
- Anger and resentment problems
- Personal histories of abuse and trauma
- Roles and work/life balance
I am happy to work with you in person or if your schedules conflict, online therapy using a HIPPA compliant service or Skype which is not secure are two available options. Please send me an email for more information.
Premarital Therapy + Counseling
Premarital counseling allows couples to nip issues and potential problems in the bud, strengthen the bond as well as talk about and clarify goals and values that are important to each member of the couple.
Sexuality + Intimacy
Sexuality in Intimate Relationships
Sexual problems are common in relationship therapy. Approximately seventy-five to eighty percent of all adult males and females experience sexual difficulties in their lives. The symptoms may vary, but often these problems can be caused by anxiety and stress, lack of sexual knowledge and/or experience, different needs and sexual interests, inability to communicate sexual needs, relational difficulties, childhood trauma and health and hormone-related problems. Therapy can help couples explore and understand the origin of their sexual difficulties, provide specific knowledge about sexual function and suggest methods to increase sexual satisfaction. As a therapist, I am sex positive and comfortable working with sexual diversity ranging from mainstream to alternative lifestyles.
More helpful information about Relationship Counseling:
Many fear bringing their struggles to a couples therapist because of shame or the threat that the relationship may end. In my experience, many relationships grow and thrive as a result of successful couples counseling. Many couples enter treatment to enhance their connection and relationship. For some, the relationship is in a crisis and requires a swift response to stop the bleeding. A trained relationship therapist will know the right approach. I consult with individuals and couples as they navigate many phases of relationships such as those in newly-formed relationships, pre-marital counseling, pre and post-baby transition difficulties and separation or divorce. I offer 60 and 90 minute consultations in my New York City office, over the telephone, or via Skype or Google Helpouts.
Many of my clients enter therapy to share the challenges and drama of single life and dating in Manhattan, as well as the complexities of long-term relationships. The ability to create and maintain meaningful and mutually satisfying relationships leads to a balanced and satisfying life. Research tells us that committed relationships, partnerships and connected marriages can be our greatest source of love, support, and happiness. As the early glow of a new relationship begins to wane, challenges in the form of patterns and dynamics begin to surface and things can unravel fast. Each member of the couple may unconsciously trigger in the other unfinished business of the past such as: early unmet needs, deficits, abandonment, loss, rejection, engulfment and a variety of other family of origin dynamics. What occurs can be emotional distance and negative feelings, contempt, defensiveness, conflicts that escalate, confusion and the inability to reconnect and repair after a dispute or argument. At this point, the relationship can become a source of pain and tension, rather than comfort, mutual support and joy.
Couples counseling is a type of relationship therapy that focuses on building and maintaining a healthy partnership by fostering connection and attachment, developing compassion and empathy for self and other, learning new skills and even resolving wounds from the past. Clients seek couples therapy and pre-marital counseling for a variety of reasons. In some cases, partners have suffered a trauma in their relationship, such as a betrayal or infidelity, unemployment or another type of crisis that creates stress. The popularity and dependence on social media such as Facebook and other technological advances such texting and email has created new problems for couples leading to misunderstandings and even emotional betrayal and affairs. Couples with relationships that are higher-functioning and less-stressed use relationship sessions to better understand the needs of their partners, deepen listening and communication skills and further strengthen their relationship.
According to marriage and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman, less than 5% of divorcing couples seek marriage counseling and the average couple waits six years before seeking help for marital problems. Additionally, half of all marriages fail in the first seven years. Couples may fear relationship counseling for many reasons, yet it is clear that most couples endure a less than ideal partnership for far too long. Therapists who work with couples agree that intervening soon rather than later will yield better long-term results.
“Relationship coaching can be a life changing experience for many. Everybody has some kind of relationship: business partners, co-workers, friends, family, lovers, or simply with themselves.
Relationship coaching is not therapy. Relationship coaching gives clients the tools needed to resolve disagreements, personality clashes and other difficulties that arise in the context of important relationships, including: siblings, colleagues, divorced parents and other partnerships. Ask yourself these important questions:
- Is there a relationship in your life, colleagues, siblings, lover, past or present, that is causing you stress and tension?
- Do you struggle with honesty in certain relationships?
- Do you find it hard to have difficult conversations, communicate your needs or maintain boundaries?
- Do you get flustered, come "undone" or lose your effectiveness in the face of conflict, negative feedback or confrontation?
- Do you feel easily controlled in certain important relationships?
- Are power struggles or disagreements draining you or your company's energy?
Consider communication coaching and conflict resolution consulting as a way to address problematic relationships.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, Relationship Counseling, Consulation, Supervision, EMDR + Adjunctive EMDR Therapy + Online Counseling Sessions
As an integrative psychotherapist, I'm delighted to offer a unique approach to emotional health and healing. My goal is to blend contemporary psychological practices, intuitive guidance and the wisdom of the ancient healing arts. The heart and soul of my approach is to help clients develop insight, self-awareness, self-acceptance, authenticity, self integration, respect for one's body, embodiment, healthy boundaries and self-care practices.
Psychotherapy For Adolescents + Adults
Individual adolescent and adult therapy is provided in my Manhattan office, and depending on client concerns, online using Skype or a HIPPA compliant platform. An initial consultation is the best way to determine if your particular needs and goals can be addressed using short-term or long-term psychotherapy. I have advanced post-graduate training in a variety of helpful techniques such as: EMDR Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Focusing, Gottman, Emotionally Focused Therapy or
EFT and Mindfulness. After an initial assessment, I will give you my opinion, and together, we can discuss your needs and create a treatment plan. We will also consider the duration of treatment and the approach or combination that will serve your goals. I have expertise in anxiety and mood disorders, addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, relationship problems, sexuality, identity concerns, self-defeating patterns and self-sabbotage, lack of purpose, goal setting, spirituality, family of origin issues, trauma/PTSD, attachment issues, self-esteem, transitions, loss, wellness coaching and an integrative therapy approach that addresses chronic pain and medical challenges.
Coaching, Strategizing + Mentoring
Coaching is not therapy. Coaching clients are goal-oriented individuals who seek results in their lives. Hiring a coach who is skilled to uncover obstacles, as well as guide and support your "best self," is a powerful resource. Having support and guidance as you practice new behaviors can be incredibly helpful. Some individuals seek an expert "strategist" to guide efforts towards growth and change. Coaching unearths the stubborn and often hidden, negative self-concepts that keep people anchored in their present reality. Identifying these unhelpful concepts helps clients move forward. Often, a positive and renewed sense of energy will emerge as soon as one begins the coaching process. Partnering with a life coach can be supportive, encouraging and empowering, and can help clients navigate change, restoring or creating balance and fulfillment. Whether it’s taking control of one's health, losing weight, career issues, focusing on goal-attainment, repairing a relationship, getting "unstuck" or transitioning to a new chapter in life, coaching can provide the needed inspiration and support one desires. Working with a licensed trained psychotherapist can yield exceptional results. Therapists have the necessary skills and tools that can be used when longstanding and resistant patterns interfere with progress. I regularly offer EMDR for blocks and peak-performance enhancement, mindfulness, meditation techniques, solution-focused strategies or cognitive and behavior techniques to my clients, combined with coaching strategies to help "stuck" clients move forward.
Relationship Counseling + Couples Therapy
I've successfully worked with many couples who desire a healthier and more satisfying relationship. I work with many high-functioning couples who would like to enhance their relationship and reestablish intimacy and connection. I also work with individuals at various stages of relationships including: newly-formed relationships, couples seeking pre-marital counseling and guidance, new parents seeking support, those considering separation or divorce and the newly single and ready to date. I draw from attachment-based theory, helping couples understand their own attachment style as well as that of their partner. Clients can learn to communicate their needs and "hear" the needs of their partner, as well as develop a shared vision or goals, learn acceptance and compassion for self and the other, heal from infidelity and develop new skills. Clients also are guided to identify and de-escalate triggers, address sex and intimacy concerns and understand how the past and family of origin issues may be impacting the relationship in the present. I use my training from The Gottman Institute, as well as Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT and Non-Violent Communication or NVC to support my work with couples.
EMDR Therapy + Brainspotting
As an EMDRIA-approved, level I + II trained EMDR therapist, I have enjoyed great success with clients using EMDR therapy for a variety of chronic, longstanding difficulties as well as recent traumatic incidents. EMDR psychotherapy can be a stand-alone treatment or integrated into ongoing talk therapy sessions to speed the healing process. As a New York City-based EMDR specialist, I provide trauma resolution for PTSD symptoms, and healing for attachment deficits, developmental traumas, medical trauma and chronic physical and emotional abuse. Additionally, EMDR is an effective therapy for anxiety, obsessions, phobias, compulsions, panic attacks, depression, self-esteem, eating disorders, addictions and more. For individuals with anxiety, emotion regulation problems and in addiction recovery, elements of EMDR therapy can help clients develop and strengthen self-soothing inner resources. A combination of EMDR and coaching is an effective treatment combination for sports and peak performance enhancement and creative and performance blocks. Brainspotting, another technique developed by David Grand, PhD, combined with EMDR psychotherapy is a technique I use to address attachment issues, unresolved trauma, pre-verbal trauma and performance problems.
Consultations + Referrals
I provide consultation sessions that are time-limited and problem or goal-focused. Some individuals and families consult with a mental health professional for educational purposes, a clinical assessment or diagnosis, a second opinion, help with a personal or life challenge, support for a difficult transition or crisis and to obtain resources to other collateral support such as psychiatrists or treatment facilities such as rehabs for addictions and eating disorders. Clinical consultations allow a client, parent or family member to explore concerns, probem-solve with a professional and make decisions or changes in their lives that move them forward when they feel unsupported or "stuck." I am delighted to share my trusted resources to complementary, alternative and conventional medical referrals in New York City and beyond. Consultations are not psychotherapy and can be done long distance using an online service such as Skype, Google, FaceTime or via telephone sessions.
Integrative Therapy-Coaching, Mindfulness, Stress Reduction + Self-Care Practices
My interest in mind-body techniques and complementary medicine has allowed me to journey to some amazing places including workshops and training opportunities. Using my training with the Urban Zen Foundation and my yoga therapy training (RYT 200 + 500 hours), I help clients address anxiety insomnia, stress, trauma and chronic illness using a combination of guided imagery, breathing techniques, body scans, meditation and mindfulness. I've studied aromatherapy and Reiki and still enjoy both, including self-Reiki and Reiki with clients, friends and family. Using the brilliance of neuroplasticity, western psychological theory, and the power of cutting-edge nutrition, yoga therapy, chakra work and other somatic psychotherapies, I truly enjoy helping clients who are open to these techniques heal on many levels. Together we can decide what would work best for your particular needs. Some examples of integrative therapy include: mindfulness training, lifestyle recommendations (nutrition, meditation, exercise, yoga and sleep), boundary work, creative play, journaling, somatic therapy and more.
Supervision + Private Practice Development
I enjoy helping new practitioners such as social workers, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed mental health counselors and psychologists develop and build their private practices. I am happy to provide clinical supervision for cases, and I especially enjoy helping interested therapists blend mind-body medicine and complementary techniques into their existing psychotherapy practices.
Psychotherapy, Coaching + Consultation Services
- Depression and mood disorders
- Anxiety and compulsive disorders
- Eating disorders, emotional eating and body image issues
- Borderline Personality Disorder BPD
- Adolescents problems (behavioral, emotional, family, academic challenges)
- Marriage, couples, relationship problems
- Celebrity, gifted and talented individuals
- Grief, loss, bereavement, life transitions
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
- Addictions, drug addiction, process addictions, substance abuse, behavioral disorders, alcoholism
- Sexual addiction
- Adult survivors of abuse
- Adult children of alcoholics (ACOA)
- Dissociation, complex PTSD, emotion regulation difficulties
- Childhood, developmental trauma, traumatic events, accidents, medical trauma
- Self-harm, Self-sabatage, self-defeating behaviors
- Self-esteem issues, negative self-concept
- Performance blocks using EMDR therapy
- Surviving and managing relationships with borderline or narcissistic individuals or partners
- Men’s issues, career concerns, sexual difficulties, work/life balance
- Women’s issues, career concerns, transitions, parenting, caretaking, hormone imbalance
- Environmental stressors, crisis management
- Phase of life issues, aging
- Sexual and relationship issues for individuals and couples
- LGBT concerns, alternative lifestyles
- Work, creativity and career issues
- Life purpose, existential, spiritual concerns
- Individual, couples, marital, family, group therapy
- Weekend intensive workshops for couples
- Coordination of services with school, medical practitioners, legal counsel, etc
- Consultation and evaluation for potential in-patient residential treatment
- Parent and new parent education, coaching
- Addiction evaluations, assessments, referrals to medical and allied professionals in New York City and beyond
- Executive coaching
- Peak performance coaching
- Clinical supervision, private practice building business, consulting
- Presentations, workshops
- Mindfulness, meditation instruction, stress management
- Recovery support for individuals including their families
- Self-care, well-being, burnout support and coaching
- Psychodynamic, relational, interpersonal psychotherapy
- Mindfulness, meditation support
- EMDR therapy
- Focusing techniques
- Crisis counseling
- Short-term, goal-oriented therapy
- DBT skills
- Marriage and relationships
- Clinical supervision
- Online via telephone, Skype, FaceTime or a HIPPA compliant service
Helpful information About An Integrative Psychotherapy Practice
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an evidence-based and active therapy that has a long history and tradition used in both short and long-term treatment. Psychodynamic sessions include the process of increasing self-awareness, encouraging self-expression, understanding conflicts, developing insight into the behaviors of self and other, unearthing unconscious content that can interfere with functioning and understanding patterns and dynamics that may have origins in the past but are played out in the "here and now." This form of therapy uses the relationship between patient and therapist to heal. The interpersonal relationship tends to be the focus of sessions as an active example of other relationships in the patient's life, so that patterns and distress can be "worked through" and not repeated outside of treatment.
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on examining and changing maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. CBT tends to be a short-term approach that is highly-effective for many with empirically-tested techniques supporting an increase in skills and a change in behaviors. CBT is an effective solution for a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression and addictions/substance abuse.
DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy
DBT was originally developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. With time, DBT skills and techniques have been found to be helpful for individuals who struggle in many areas of life including substance abuse, addictions. DBT treatment combines ideas of awareness, acceptance and change from mindfulness with a range of psychological theories. Because DBT skills are practical and can be generalized into many areas of life, DBT can be successfully integrated into treatment plans and used in a variety of treatment settings. DBT uses mindfulness and other skills to help increase emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness with the goal of helping patient's cope, de-escalate, and self-regulate.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages which is to accept what is out of your personal control, while committing to action that will improve the quality of life. The goal of ACT is to help people create a full and meaningful life even and especially when the stress and pain of life is a challenge. ACT teaches the psychological skills to manage painful feelings and thoughts in an effort to reduce the impact of suffering. Another aim is to help individuals clarify what is important and meaningful, using that awareness to guide, motivate and inspire them to make important changes that will lead to a better life. ACT supports cognitive flexibility in addition to encouraging individuals to observe and allow difficult thoughts feelings, emotions and experiences to simply occur. ACT also helps patients identify concrete short and long-term goals.
Mindfulness is the practice of moment-to-moment awareness of feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations as well as an awareness of the environment and one's surroundings. Mindfulness, as a philosophy, has more recently become a widely-used and helpful practice in the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. Additionally, mindfulness is an empirically-validated practice with data that supports its efficacy and application in a range of clinical and non-clinical settings. A mindfulness practice includes the observation of feelings, emotions and sensations, a non-judgmental presence and the awareness of the present moment.
EMDR is an evidence-based treatment that targets many symptoms and conditions including trauma, negative memories, phobias, fears, anxiety, addictions, compulsions and performance difficulties. Originally used to treat Veterans, EMDR therapy is now one of the most efficient and effective trauma/symptom treatment methods that allows clients to fully heal from their psychological wounds. EMDR can successfully be integrated into psychotherapy sessions. Many clients find EMDR to be more effective than other forms of therapy including CBT and traditional “talk therapy.”
Psychotherapy for Depression
Clinical depression is a complicated condition that can be treated with interpersonal psychotherapy, medication and a collaborative approach to identify the biological and psychosocial factors that may have contributed to a patient's depressive symptoms. Depression can be mild and show up with seasonal changes and it can be debilitating and interfere with activities of daily living, life skills, relationships, employment, hope and may also include the desire to end one’s life. Depression treatment is generally supportive in nature, and may require help with daily structure and coping skills and often requires working with other mental health professionals. Interpersonal psychotherapy, CBT and EMDR therapy can be effective treatments for depressed patients as can antidepressant use, light therapy, vitamin D and supplements.
Psychotherapy for Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms bring many into therapy for the first time. Not all clients experience anxiety in the same way. For some, anxiety is a distress that presents in a specific situation such as performance, public speaking or test-taking. For others, anxiety may be experienced as chronic and ranging from mild to debilitating, including uncomfortable physical symptoms. Anxiety sufferers are best helped by understanding emotional conflicts, environmental and genetic factors with treatment that may include talk therapy, CBT, stress reduction techniques, Somatic Experiencing (SE) and EMDR Therapy to target early trauma, memories and present-day distress.
Trauma Treatment and PTSD
Early trauma and chronic developmental traumas that have impacted a patient's development and attachment relationships are the most difficult to heal. Psychotherapy can help validate the patient's experience, work through any feelings of shame and confusion that may have been internalized, process the traumatic experience or event and help them understand how their current life is impacted by traumatic experiences. Psychotherapy can help individuals identify triggers in daily experiences that create symptoms and contribute to familiar self-defeating patterns and dynamics. While talk therapy can be a good place to begin for some trauma patients, EMDR is the treatment of choice to provide symptomatic relief and truly heal from trauma.
Loss and Bereavement
Losing something or someone is difficult and complicated for many reasons. Loss can include a loved-one, pet, health, job, lifestyle, home, identity, status, and more. Loss, especially when significant to the individual, requires mourning and grieving that loss, experiencing the associated feelings, and eventually, moving forward. Psychotherapy can give the individual a safe place to grieve and feel the sadness. The healing process is different for everyone as is the length of time required to heal.
What happens in therapy?
A number of benefits are available when you engage in the therapy process. Therapy helps people gain relief from unpleasant feelings and thoughts, create more fulfilling and meaningful relationships, and gain more pleasure and control in their lives. Psychotherapy helps clients get to the root of their difficulties and learn ways to become more self-aware, cope with difficult emotions, improve mood, gain control, feel connected to others, develop the skills to handle future problems, and live more fulfilling and satisfying lives. Therapists can provide support, practical problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as: troubling patterns and behaviors. a crisis, managing difficult people, internal conflicts, neurosis, life transitions, anxiety, depression, sadness, loneliness self-esteem, relationship problems, unresolved childhood issues, trauma/abuse, grief, stress management, body image issues, eating disorders, feeling lost or stuck, sexuality or identity concerns, addictive behaviors and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors or psychotherapists can be a tremendous asset to career concerns, managing personal growth, professional relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, parenting challenges, developing healthier habits, connecting to the body, understanding thoughts, feelings and emotions, balancing the stress of daily life and goal-setting. High-achieving, successful individuals often experience emptiness, unhappiness, disappointment, loneliness, stress, anxiety and interpersonal problems which may lead to less than desirable coping solutions such as addictions, alcohol and drug abuse, eating problems and sleep deficits. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or help their clients discover helpful solutions. Many lasting benefits can be obtained from personal, couples or group therapy. You can learn more about therapy from the American Psychological Association or APA Learn more here
Therapy and counseling can help clients with the following issues:
- Reframe current life circumstances and gain a different perspective
- Learn to manage difficult work and personal transitions and changes such as marriage, new baby, mid-life problems and aging
- Gain the support needed to get through difficult times such as loss and change
- Learn to feel and live a more authentic life, accept feelings of being “different”
- Develop healthy self-esteem and resolve persistent negative self-states
- Develop healthier coping skills, habits and boundaries
- Have healthier personal and work relationships
- Develop awareness of any repetitive patterns that interfere with success and happiness by understanding how past dynamics interfere with the present
- Manage difficult people personally and professionally
- Develop a path of purpose and life fulfillment
- Heal from past trauma and abuse and process traumatic memories and dissociation
- Increase insight and self-awareness and identify innate strengths
- Improve communication, learn conflict resolution, develop better listening and self-assertion skills
- Address depression, sadness, feelings of despair and isolation
- Learn helpful coping skills for stress, anxiety, phobias and panic attacks
- Relieve stress and insomnia and learn relaxation response
- Manage destructive patterns that include drinking, eating, drugs, addictions and self-harm
- Understand negative and habitual patterns of thinking and behaving
- Resolve writing, creative and other performance blocks
- Mourn losses such as separation, divorce, miscarriage, infertility or the death of a loved-one
- Develop effective parenting skills
- Address problems related to chronic pain, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, medical procedures and diagnoses
- Heal from sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, domestic violence and natural disasters
- Resolve sexual and identity concerns
- Manage feelings of overwhelm, feel more embodied and develop an awareness connection between mind and body, feel more
What can I expect?
If you're considering therapy now, then you're experiencing challenges in your own life or with others. Psychotherapy is not like sharing problems with a trusted friend. It involves looking closely at yourself, your situation and the people around you. This can feel difficult and scary, but therapy with a trained therapist can help people find solutions to problems, relieve distressing symptoms such as anxiety and depression, support good mental and physical health, promote integrity and honesty and help individuals develop intimacy in relationships. Reaching your full potential, understanding yourself and others and removing barriers to happiness and fulfillment are but a few goals of successful, effective therapy. Even though you may have good friends and family members to talk to, a psychotherapist or psychologist with professional training is able to see things from a different lens and even challenge and support you in ways that the people in your life cannot.
How do I know what to look for in a therapist?
When you choose a therapist, you should feel understood and not judged for the concerns that led you to seek counseling. You should feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with your potential therapist as the process requires an investment of time and emotional energy. Your therapist should have good interpersonal skills as well as empathy and compassion. You should choose a therapist who has training in the areas that you are seeking help with. Some therapists have received specialized training in areas such as trauma, addictions or eating disorders. If your problems are serious enough to impact the quality of your life and your ability to function, you may need to find a specialist or someone who specializes in your particular problem. Many therapists have received general psychotherapy training and consider themselves generalists and are able to treat a range of difficulties. Some psychotherapists have received specialized training in addition to graduate school. This article in Psychology Today explains the process as well as list important qualities to look for in a therapist.
How long will I need to be in therapy?
Your personal needs and goals are always a priority, and will shape the time you spend in sessions. Many individuals desire focused, structured and time-limited sessions with a clear plan targeting specific problems or goals that can be met within a relatively short period of time, while other difficulties require a more intensive focus and may take longer to resolve. This is especially true when people have been struggling for a long time and patterns and habits are rigid and entrenched. Some will do best with once or twice weekly sessions that are consistent—this process allows clients to examine patterns and dynamics that may interfere with healthy functioning.
What kind of therapy should I be looking for?
Increasing insight into problems and self-awareness is one goal of therapy, but unfortunately, that alone does not always lead to the desired change. For this reason, and with certain clients, it may be necessary to implement behavioral changes and track progress between sessions. Some clients need targeted, specific types of therapies that resolve symptoms related to trauma. The duration of treatment is highly variable and depends on many factors, including: the nature of the problem, client motivation and having realistic goals for change. Depending on client needs, one may benefit from a number of different therapeutic strategies and techniques. In your initial consultation, you should work with your therapist to figure out the best approach for you. Therapists may use or combine the following approaches: psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal, humanistic, gestalt, Emotion-Focused Therapy [EFT] and relational as well as evidence-based therapies such as EMDR therapy, Somatic Experiencing (SE), Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT to name a few.
Are my sessions confidential?
It is important to know that everything you say during psychotherapy sessions will be kept confidential. The only exceptions are when there is a danger that you may harm yourself or someone else, or in active cases of abuse. Mental health professionals are obligated by law to disclose that information to the appropriate authorities. These situations are rare. Most people find it a great relief to have a safe place where they are able to share what's on their mind with a non-judgmental, supportive and trained professional.