How Do i choose the right therapist? there are so many to choose from!
Research has shown time and time again that the most important factor is the "therapeutic alliance" or the relationship and connection built between the therapist and the client. Due to this, it is important that you find a therapist whom you can trust and be open with. It is also helpful to find a therapist who has experience with and enjoys working with some of the issues bringing you to therapy.
I would love to talk with you on the phone to see if I could be a good fit for your process. During our free phone consultation we would discuss what brings you to therapy at this time, we would begin to identify some goals, and I would gather some light background information. You can also ask me questions about my experience, approach, and how I generally help clients with issues similar to yours. This gives you the opportunity to get a feel for me and what therapy with me would be like prior to investing in sessions with me. If we are unable to work together, I am happy to provide you with other local referrals.
I'm used to handling thngs on my own. doesn't going to therapy mean you're weak?
Knowing when to ask for help and seek support is actually a strength! People with the trait of resiliency -- continuing to move forward despite hard times and barriers -- know when they need to seek help from others. This often reinforces one's own strength and skills prior to a scenario becoming [more] overwhelming, which makes it even more difficult to more toward the success and stability desired. In the same way that powerful leaders often seek professional consultants in various areas to increase their own knowledge and awareness, therapy can be an opportunity to gain wisdom, awareness, and skills from a professional who specializes in helping people manage their own emotions, relationships, and ability to thrive in life. You already have strengths that have helped you cope in the past, and therapy can help highlight those strengths and also identify new ones to use. Therapy is also a great space to begin with for those who are used to handling issues on their own and not opening up to others. An outside professional can be a good person to practice emotional expression and vulnerability with when personal relationships feel too overwhelming. Therapists are also bound by confidentiality, meaning that anything you share in therapy is legally protected health information (PHI) and cannot be shared with others, outside of the few exceptions to confidentiality (suspected child abuse, suspected elder/dependent adult abuse, danger to others, danger to self, or if information is court-ordered.)
What is the difference between talking to you and talking to a friend or family member?
Therapists are also bound by confidentiality, meaning that anything you share in therapy is legally protected health information (PHI) and cannot be shared with others, outside of the few exceptions to confidentiality (suspected child abuse, suspected elder/dependent adult abuse, danger to others, danger to self, or if information is court-ordered.) Many people find it easier to share more openly with someone outside of close relationships because they do not need to worry about hurting someone's feelings, being judged, or the information being shared with others. Therapists also have extensive training and experience to offer professional help. For instance, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) like myself received a master's degree, obtained 3,000 hours of therapy and therapy-related activities under supervision of licensed therapists, and passed two licensing exams in order to be able to practice as a LMFT. We are able to help you approach your situation in a new way through gaining new skills and new perspectives. One of the goals of therapy is to help you live a more fulfilling life, which absolutely includes having healthy, strong relationships. Therapy should increase your insight into your relationships and ultimately help you engage with your friends and family members in a connecting, healthy manner, as they will be the people beside you long after you finish seeing a therapist. A skilled and culturally sensitive therapist will absolutely incorporate your cultural, religious, and familial values into what "healthy relationships" looks like and not simply impose their own views.