Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist and the client as well as the particular problems you bring forward. Once we understand the dilemmas that require change, we will formulate goals that we will work toward utilizing various cognitive behavioral therapeutic modalities.
Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be effective, you will need to collaborate during sessions and be committed to working independently between sessions on the goals you identify.
Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. In fact, you may feel worse temporarily before feeling better and you may experience distress caused by the changes you decide to make in your life as a result of therapy.
On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have benefits for people, such as improving relationships, finding solutions to specific problems and significantly reducing feelings of distress. There are, however, no guarantees of what you will experience. You are free to discontinue treatment at any time, but it would be best for us to discuss any plans to end therapy before doing so.
As a psychologist, I understand that every client is unique. Each of us has multiple identities that make us distinctive; these identities might include racial, cultural, religious, sexual, gender, age, ability and many other dimensions. Indeed, it is the combination of all these identities that makes each of us different.
I appreciate that every one of us lives and functions within a broader social context that can either support or hinder our wellbeing. I know that events that happen in society impact us as individuals. I also understand that, at times, some identities are devalued by our culture. These experiences influence how we feel about ourselves and the world around us.
I want you to know that I invite conversations about these issues because I understand how critical they are to emotional health. I respect differences and am committed to supporting social justice. My values and ethics demand that I support equality and human dignity and challenge prejudice and discrimination. I am dedicated to creating a safe, respectful and compassionate space for everyone who enters my practice.
Our first few individual sessions will focus on an evaluation of your needs. By the end of the assessment, I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work will include and a treatment plan to follow so we can decide if you wish to continue with this therapy. You should evaluate this information along with your own opinions of whether you feel comfortable working with me.
Therapy involves a large commitment of time, money and energy, so you will want to be very careful about the therapist you select. If you have questions about my procedures, we should discuss them whenever they arise. If your doubts persist, I will be happy to help you set up a meeting with another mental health professional for a second opinion. You have a right to ask psychologists about their training and qualifications and about where to file complaints.
I am looking forward to our collaboration and the opportunity to support your desire for change!