What To Expect From Therapy
Each of my patients is engaged in a course of therapy tailored specifically to them. The way your course of therapy unfolds will depend on a number of things, including your goals for therapy, your strengths, your history, and your readiness for change.
In our initial sessions, I encourage you to assess whether I am the right fit for you. Because therapy requires a level of motivation and openness from the patient, it is crucial to choose a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. At the same time, I will be focusing on understanding your needs and goals. I will get to know you as a whole person, so that changes you make will be most meaningful and long-lasting.
These initial sessions determine our next steps. For many of my patients, improving self-understanding is an important piece of the work. By exploring your current life and personal history, we develop an understanding of why you think, feel, and behave as you do. This understanding points to effective avenues for change. Self-understanding also promotes self-acceptance. When you allow yourself to be who you are, your inner critic has no leverage. You stop fighting with yourself, which gives you more energy to focus on what fulfills you.
Our therapy may also include solution-focused work. As needed, we will develop customized strategies to manage painful thoughts and emotions or change unhelpful behaviors. As an example, mindfulness is an empirically supported strategy that causes change at a neural level in the brain. It has been found to have significant benefits in a number of areas, including anxiety/stress reduction, improved ability to focus, less emotional reactivity, and reduced cognitive rumination. It is one tool I use with my patients to help change the way they are impacted by their thoughts and feelings.
Because it has taken you a long time to become the way you are, it will take some time and effort to create change. Important, sustained change does not usually occur over a matter of weeks. Typically, it will take months to achieve a major change in the way you see things, react to things, or behave. For more severe issues, such as a long-standing eating disorder, it may take a year or more.
Therapy is a place to focus on yourself, which is a rare opportunity in our extraordinarily busy lifestyles. It can help you solve a specific problem or gain more general self-acceptance. My knowledge, experience, and care are dedicated to helping each of my patients meet their goals and live a more fulfilled life.