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Common Questions
How can therapy, counseling and coaching help me?
Many benefits are available from participating in counseling. Psychologists can provide clarification, support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies.  Many people also find that psychologists 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 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, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Healing and growing from painful events such as affairs, loss, health problems and work setbacks.
  • Understanding and dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder organizational, relational, and self-confidence issues
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek counseling
  • 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, counseling or coaching?  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 and guidance when you need it. In fact, counseling 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 help. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

Why do people go to therapy or counseling, and how do I know if it is right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as Attention Deficit Disorder, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.   In short, people seeking counseling and coaching want to make changes and meet the challenges in their lives.
What is counseling like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on you.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous session.  Depending on your specific needs, counseling can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to undercover layers causing more difficult patterns or to reach your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with me.  Frequency of meetings will be based on your needs.
It is important to understand that you will get more results 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 counseling sessions, I may suggest some things you can do outside of our meetings to support your process - such as reading, writing, noticing particular thoughts and behaviors or taking action on your goals.  People seeking counseling or coaching are ready, with help, to make positive changes, open to new perspectives and build their lives into ones of strength and direction..   
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?  
It is well established that the long-term solution to life problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, we address the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your physician, you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.