About Therapy

What therapy is...
Therapy is a dialogue.  You share your feelings, thoughts, and experiences and I share my thoughts and feelings, my theories and my clinical experience.  You are assured a space that is safe for you (privacy protected, free of judgment, always accepting) and your job is to be engaged, open and honest.  The goal is to help you discover truth about yourself, your life and your feelings and to use that understanding to help you make the changes you want.
Sessions should feel intriguing.  You should have a sense that something new and interesting is happening.  You want to find yourself getting curious about how you think, feel, believe and act and how parts of your life are related in ways you haven’t considered before. 

You want to experience insight.  You will find yourself feeling clearer, saner, more hopeful, more decisive, more energetic, and your symptoms will begin to clear up.  When you feel the things you’ve been trying not to feel, when you become aware of things you’ve avoided, you feel better and you function better.

You’re the expert. 
I can tell you what’s likely going on with you, what seems to be happening, but only you can say if I am right.  Your reactions to our insights is what matters.  Are you rediscovering your own voice, your own priorities, and the courage to act on them?
What therapy is not...
You don’t have to blame your mother.  Although I believe in the importance of childhood experience, you do not have to dig up the past or lay blame on the people in your life (likely your parents).  As we talk about times gone by, what matters is that you understand what you lived through, how you understood and tried to cope with it, and how it continues to intrude in your current life.

You do not give up your power.   I can not and will not make you do anything you don’t want to do.  I won’t make you talk about things you don’t want to talk about, I won’t make you feel things you aren’t ready to feel, I won’t even make you come back to therapy if you don’t want to.  By giving yourself to therapy, you do not give up your free will and your right to self-determine.   Exploring and utilizing those very traits, the essence of you, is what makes therapy possible and valuable.
You don’t need any more advice.
  I do not wish to tell you what to do about your life, your relationships, or your feelings but I do want to help you become more aware of what’s happening to you, inside you and between you and others, so that you can know what’s best for you.  Your way doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s way.  It will be uniquely yours.

This may sting a little.  You need to feel you can trust me as your therapist but I must warn you that therapy won’t always be comfortable.  If our work doesn’t stir up at least a little discomfort, we probably aren’t getting anywhere.  If you feel we are going in the wrong direction or that you aren’t getting what you need, always let me know.  Remember, therapy is a dialogue.