How does just talking to someone help people feel better?

Talking is a cognitive process that brings your thoughts and feelings out of your head and into the here and now.  Talking, similar to writing, helps to organize and transform our thoughts and feelings into information we can use to move forward.

What’s the difference between talking to you vs. talking to a friend or family member?

The most important difference is that a psychologist is not involved in your every day life.  Because a psychologist is a neutral third party, you can talk about anyone and anything in a confidential environment.  Talking about your thoughts and feelings transforms your understanding of your inner life, creating insight you can use to improve your life.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in understanding how medications work to address psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety.  Some psychiatrists provide therapy and some primarily provide medication. Psychologists are providers with a doctoral degree in psychology – an intensive, multi-year training program in understanding and treating the behavioral aspects of psychological distress.

Should I take medication or go into psychotherapy?  

It is well established that for many psychological issues, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the most effective treatment.  Medication can help relieve immediate symptoms; learning new ways to think and behave can provide long-term resilience.

I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

No way.  Effective psychotherapy is like the psychological equivalent of going to the gym.  Just as you can strengthen your muscles over time with weight lifting, and increase your physical stamina with cardiovascular exercise, you can strengthen your psychological “muscles” and increase your psychological stamina with psychotherapy.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. 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.

How long will it take?

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 weekly sessions initially, and then space them out as you see progress.

 

 

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