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What is therapy?

You may be thinking something like, "Me? Us? In therapy? C'mon, you're kidding, right?" Well, you are reading this, so lets see what this therapy stuff is about...

Lets start with what it is not: therapy is not demeaning, embarrassing, shameful, or in any way intended to harm you or anyone you love. Therapy is not a bad thing. Seeing a therapist does not mean you are broken or that there is something wrong with you.

  • Going to therapy means you are acknowledging to yourself that you need help with a problem.

If you feel sick, you go to a doctor. If you want to learn how to play piano, you take piano lessons. Therapy is a mixture of both ideas: you can discover what's wrong and learn how to do things differently so you can get different results in your life.

  • If you feel sad, unhappy, frustrated, anxious, afraid, hurt, angry, or anything other than the way you would prefer to feel, you can work with a therapist to help you figure out how to stop feeling that way and create a better life for yourself.

Therapy is a confidential, collaborative process between you and your therapist. Together you can find answers to questions, solutions to problems, and the strength to deal with the challenges life throws at you. A skilled therapist will listen to you, understand your wants and needs, help you figure out what to change, and help you plan to implement those changes. The same process applies to individuals, couples, and families, and therapists may employ a variety of approaches, tools, and methods.

Many people come in to find help, support, coping skills, answers, peace, compassion, and happiness. Your therapist's job is to you find those things, often within yourself. They are in there somewhere! Feeling, adapting, growing, and changing are unique, personal experiences that belong only to you. A skilled therapist helps you define, create and navigate your own unique personal growth process, offering guidance, expertise, tools, suggestions, support and encouragement along the way. I believe half of your therapist's job is to help you figure stuff out. The other half is helping you help yourself. You know what I mean--the "teach someone to fish..." thing.

If this sounds like something you might benefit from, please click here to contact me to arrange a confidential appointment. I hope this answers some of your questions. More answers may be found in the FAQ, in other areas of this site, or by calling or emailing me.

-Matt