You may have contemplated on the idea of therapy for awhile. You may be faced with a life transition, significant loss, or life altering change. Sometimes it is the past that starts to bubble up, or you are faced with a difficult decision or dilemma.
How Individual Psychotherapy can help you.
Face Rather Than Avoid
Change, Transitions, loss & Grief
Difficult Decisions & Dilemmas
What to expect first session
FACE RATHER THAN AVOID
It is likely you have been avoiding taking a hard and honest look at what is going on in your life and how it may be affecting you emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually and/or sexually. Avoidance may feel good at first, but the longer you avoid the more damaging things can become. There are often consequences with avoidance, to include problems in relationships, employment/academic, and day to day functioning.
Individual Psychotherapy can help start your journey toward better connection to your Self and others, healing from harmful past experiences, and strive for personal growth.
CHANGE, TRANSITIONS, LOSS & GRIEF
We can not go through our lives without ever experiencing change. The changes may be caused by life altering events, such as a death of a loved one or divorce. Other typical life change happens at stages in our lives, transitions that occur, like moving into adulthood, getting married, having a baby, changing job or career, adult children moving out of the home, a move away from family and friends, retirement, just to name a few.
When we experience these types of events there is always loss involved, even when the change is considered ‘good’. Naturally, the death of a loved one or end of a intimate relationship brings on intense grief, with feelings of sorrow, anger, and fear. But all loss involves going through the grief process as you make the transition to a new and different way of life.
Individual psychotherapy helps you cope with the changes, transitions and loss. Therapy can be a safe place to explore options, difficult decisions, and identify what may be the best for you. Therapy can elevate the depression, anxiety, stress, and anger you may be feeling. The end goal? Go through the natural process safely, with support, and with lessons learned and personal growth.
DIFFICULT DECISIONS AND DILEMMAS
A dilemma is defined as having to make a choice between two or more options and all options have some significant real or perceived consequences. It is like you are sitting on a picket fence with a path on either side,. You are straddling the fence unable to move forward because moving forward requires you to decide on which path to travel. You may decide on one but than soon feel unsure and jump to the other side. This can go on for weeks, months, even years.
What can make the decision so difficult is that both options have the potential to hurt yourself and/or others whom you love and care about. Sometimes it is a conflict between your needs and the needs of others. Some examples are considering ending a intimate relationship or making a career change that would mean your family would suffer some financial difficulties,
Sometimes it is a conflict between making a change that would go against your family’s beliefs, cultural/ethnic norms, religion, and could possibly cause estrangement from family and friends. Best example of that is, perhaps, is deciding to live openly gay, lesbian, trans. Or, making a career choice that others would not approve of or understand.
Individual Psychotherapy can give you a safe, non-judgment environment to explore all your options. You are able to talk openly about the situation, looking at both the ‘good things’ and ‘not so good things’ about each option. And many times, be able to see more clearly how your past decisions ,based on the expectation of others, have affected you emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and/or sexually for most of your life. Living a life based on what others expect, and denying your Self a life that reflects who you are at your core, leads to depression, anxiety, resentment, and anger. With therapy, you can make decisions, what ever they may be, with greater awareness and clarity, decreasing feelings of guilt, depression, anxiety, regret, while feeling relief, more confidence, empowered.
The affects of trauma have a way of sneaking up on you. You may think you are fine, able to get through it without being affected. You may even go years doing well, being well adjusted, successful. But the emotional impact of a traumatic event can start to bubble up to the surface unexpectedly, or you may start to see that things have not been as good as you thought, recognizing that decisions you made in the past have been influenced by the trauma, and you are more aware of how those decision created problems in your life.
People, environments, and circumstances can trigger memories of the trauma–leading to increased anxiety, depression, avoidance using unhealthy coping, hyper-vigilance, even dissociation.
Individual Psychotherapy can help you learn healthier, safer, coping strategies, you can use to decrease and distract from intrusive thoughts and intense feelings, so the trauma can be processed safely. Once safe coping strategies are in place, trauma processing through an integrated approach of insight-narrative therapy, CBT, cognitive processing, prolonged exposure, mindfulness/grounding, The goal is to move from post-trauma stress to post-trauma growth.
What to expect in your first session:
- The first session is 60-90 minutes long
- Opportunity to get to know each other, gives you some time to get comfortable with the environment.
- We discuss the current events or circumstances that have brought you to therapy.
- You participate in an in-depth clinical interview that explores “where you came from, where you are now, and where you want to be”.
- Interview sheds some light on your past experiences, your beliefs, relationship history, which helps me gain a better understanding of who you are.
- May include administration of inventories, surveys, diagnostic assessments.
- Identify strengths, limitations, and needs,
- Explore and define what you want to achieve in therapy.
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.