A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors 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 from therapy 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
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- 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
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 when you need it. In fact, therapy 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 therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
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 low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, 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 psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy 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 therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses 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 medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
For a number of reasons, I do not accept insurance. I may be able to provide you with documentation of our sessions that you can submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement. I try to keep my rates reasonable and I can often work with you if you are serious about therapy, but finances are getting in the way. This usually comes in the form of payment plans or referrals as appropriate.
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subjects that are usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders requires therapists to report to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
While every therapist is different, most will look at the following:
- your history - the therapist will likely conduct a psychosocial sexual history and then take more than one session.
- your goals - you and your therapist will examine your goals and many factors that influence your current experience.
- Your whole self - confidential discussions will likely include past experiences that may be relevant to your current situation. you might also be asked to visit a physician for a complete physical that includes examination of your genitals.
Sex therapy is often pretty short term (ranging from a few weeks to a few months) if concerns are uncomplicated. However, longer therapy (several months or even years) may be needed when medical factors or emotional issues complicate the picture.
Sex therapy is for couples and individuals both or anyone who wants deeper intimacy and improve their sexuality for better quality of life.
Sexual concerns can be caused by physical factors such as disease and disability, insufficient hormones, medical side effects, fatigue or sexual pain. Sexual concerns can also be the result of emotional or psychological challenges such as anxiety and depression, fear, stress, anger or resentment, sexual trauma or a history of abuse, and other relationship issues.
Other common factors related to challenges around sex also include trouble communicating or needing for more (or better) education. It's almost always a combination of both physical or emotional factors and relationship issues that create these challenges. Sometimes sexual difficulties are what create the emotional or relationship challenges.
First and foremost choose someone that you feel comfortable with. Be open and honest with them. They can only help you with the information you tell them so tell the truth. Choose a therapist that is “sex positive” that means they have an attitude about human sexuality that regards all consensual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable and they will most likely encourage pleasure and experimentation as appropriate.
If you have a specific concern, ask them specifically how they might go about helping you with that concern.
If you have a specific question for Kellie, she is usually happy to help you find the answers. Questions and answers are included in her newsletter "Passion, Pleasure, Confidence, Connection" you can join the mailing list using her contact form.