How does therapy work?
Research shows that a major factor in successful therapy is the establishment of a supportive connection between the therapist and the client. That’s why it’s so important to find a therapist who you feel understands you and really “gets it”. It’s also important to feel that you’re invited to share your experiences openly and honestly and that what you share is met with understanding and compassion. This kind of therapeutic relationship is the cornerstone for change.
There are several ways that goals are reached once this kind of relationship is in place. First, finding the words to express your experiences and feeling validated and understood while doing so allows emotions to be processed in a way that prevents them from feeling overwhelming in your day-to-day life. Second, specific techniques are used to target symptoms of anxiety and depression. These techniques become your tools for dealing with everyday challenges as well as to cope with the emotional work of therapy. Third, relationship problems are addressed through illuminating long-established patterns of relating to others. We find out how these patterns began and what purpose they initially served. It’s through deeper understanding of these patterns and exploring them in the context of the therapeutic relationship that new ways of relating emerge.
I teach you about the process of therapy as we go and by doing so demystify what is often a misunderstood process. I also write about the therapeutic process here.
How long will it take for therapy to work?
It’s difficult to give a response to the question of how long it takes to see changes without first getting to know you. However, in most cases, a reduction of symptoms is likely to occur in the first few weeks and often clients feel better after just one or two sessions. If this isn’t the case, we reassess the treatment and changes are made to the treatment plan. More time is needed to resolve long-standing issues (i.e. relationship problems) and to get to the root of symptoms of depression or anxiety.
I encourage and challenge my clients to work hard in therapy by being open and curious about themselves in order to bring about lasting changes as soon as possible. I offer both short-term and long-term therapy tailored to your needs. Sessions are generally weekly or two times per week and are 45 minutes.
It’s important that therapy take place in a consistent manner so that you can depend on having therapy at the same time each week and that the session will last the same amount of time. This type of consistency is the backbone of building a supportive, trusting relationship with the therapist, which is an important factor for achieving a successful outcome of therapy.
In addition to therapy, what can I do to make positive life changes?
I believe in using all of the resources we have available to us in order to create readiness for change and to face the challenges of everyday life. Some of these include yoga, meditation, regular exercise and mindfulness meditation. Clients who are interested or who already take part in these activities are invited to discuss how they find them useful and how they might relate to the therapeutic process. If you already use spirituality or religion as a way of coping with life’s difficulties, it can be a resource to be used as an adjunct to the treatment.