What is therapy like?
The concern that most prospective clients have is what to expect from therapy. In our first meeting we will review the forms that you will fill out and sign (preferably prior to our meeting) so that we have basic information about each other. Sessions typically are 50 minutes and on a weekly basis for best results. You are encouraged to actively participate, as will I when appropriate. You may come in with a specific problem while at other times you may feel as if you're wasting time because it is difficult to identify the issue and the explicit feeling(s) you are experiencing. These are a natural part of the therapeutic process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your daily life.
How long will it take to resolve my problems?
This is a difficult question for any therapist to answer because every person is an individual with unique needs. Friends and family can be a wonderful source of support but don't have the professional training to guide you through deeply held beliefs as well as unrealistic expectations that prevent you from growing and developing meaningful and lasting relationships.
Each therapist works differently, using various theoretical perspectives. Some are time limited by nature while others delve into deeper issues requiring more time. This is a collaborative experience between client and therapist. I use an eclectic approach as I have found that drawing on different theories is most helpful for the individual client.
Sometimes there is an immediate sense of relief while at other times unsettled feelings surface and it's as if you are getting worse. If you have any concerns about the effectiveness of our work, I encourage you to discuss it in session. Often it is difficult to see the growth you are making when in the midst of intense feelings.
What is grief counseling?
Grief counseling takes you through the tasks of mourning. It is the therapist's primary concern to hold a sacred space for you to accept the reality of your loss. As a result you will be able to experience the pain of your loss and learn to adjust to a new environment. It is important to understand and accept that each person grieves in their own way and learns to accept that we are never "over" a significant loss. Realistically the therapist cannot relieve your suffering but perhaps is the only person in your life that can tolerate any and all expressions of your anguish and feelings. Through acceptance, nonjudgmental listening and education, the therapist is able to always plant the seeds of hope that you will find meaning one day no matter what the loss (death, divorce, job, suicide, miscarriage, etc.). You will recognize symptoms of inner peace as you experience some of the following:
Grief counseling is discovering what is lost, what is left, and what is possible!
an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
absence of ongoing inner conflict
absence of free-floating anxiety and worry
the ability to think and act spontaneously, rather than from fear
frequent attacks of smiling and laughing
How do I find the right therapist for me?
The relationship between a client and therapist is unique and I believe is the foundation for the work to be successful. All therapists have similar training, with the exception of furthering their specialty and educational experience. Only you can determine how comfortable you feel with a person. Occasionally it may take two to three sessions to know if this is the therapist you want to work with.
"Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely." ~ Molly Goode, 20th Century American Writer