Anxiety, stress, sadness, loneliness, mental health issues, trauma, anger … these are only a few of the reasons that people give when asked why they are in or thinking about therapy. And, most commonly, people come to therapy for multiple reasons – and may not even be aware of some of the factors that bring them.
One goal of therapy is to assist people in uncovering aspects of themselves that, over the years, have become lost or buried, ignored and neglected. Therapy can help individuals live life more fully, manage the bad times, feel better about themselves, look forward totheir futures, improve their relationships, and discover increased happiness and hopefulness.
My primary goal as your therapist is to assist you in making the changes you want, even – perhaps especially – if those changes seem unobtainable. Together, we will explore your concerns, assess your fears, and examine any “negative messages” that affect your feelings, thoughts, or behavior. We will determine an approach that is right for you … taking into account your past experience, your current circumstances, the influence of family and friends, your own expectations of yourself, and an array of additional factors.
Determining the changes you really want, however, may be more difficult than you think.
For example, you may say you want to be wealthy. Is wealth alone all that you are looking for? Or do you also seek the respect that may come with affluence? Are you lonely, and hoping that if you have money to spend, others will seek you out? Did you somewhere, somehow, pick up a message that you can never be successful, in this case, wealthy? That if you try, you will fail?
Once we understand these and other issues – as well as how they interact with the rest of your life – the healing can begin.
Successful therapy is a collaborative process that not only requires work from the therapist, but work from you. Your motivation and active participation are integral to your success. “Success,” however, is not linear. You will have ups and downs, perhaps experience thoughts of giving up because therapy is “too hard.” Sometimes you just may just want to escape from whatever binds you up in knots. All of that is normal, recognizable, part of the process – a phenomenon we will look at together and a temporary obstacle that most people willing to make the effort can overcome.