Here are some frequently asked questions that I have received in the past. It is not uncommon to wonder about these areas, or to have more questions than just these. If you have further questions that you would like to discuss, please contact me!
Does going to therapy mean that I am weak or crazy?
On the contrary, going to therapy takes strength and the ability to rationalize with oneself to know when you need help. Many of the emotions we may feel can be difficult to feel or process, so to endure this for the hope of healing is courageous. Avoiding, minimizing, denying, or suppressing may temporarily help you get through a moment, but only store it for later when it may be even worse as it has built up. The stigmas surrounded around mental health are actively being challenged to be seen in a more accurate light. All of us have areas within ourselves that we could use help with, and this does not make us weak or crazy. There is a tragedy occurring in not enough people reaching out for the help that they need and often times, ultimately resulting in harming themselves or others. Being a part of this advocacy to change the way mental health is viewed is necessary and admirable.
How long will it take?
Generally the first 3 sessions are simply used to build the therapeutic relationship and gather information. Depending on the reason that you may be seeking therapy determines the course. Weekly sessions can help with expediting the course, however it does not guarantee an end date and some client's presenting issues may not require this level of care. Therapy is a process that is much like an onion that has many layers to peel back which can lead to unexpected places but for greater healing. It took time to get to the place of where you are, and it takes time to overcome those challenges. Part of therapy is learning to accept yourself where you are and become in tuned with your needs without judging them. The process and journey of therapy is often times more important than the end result.
What should I expect sessions to be like?
Sessions at Serenity Haven Counseling are 50minutes long. The art of the session is to balance working towards what brought you into therapy in the first place while also tending to whatever needs you may additionally be experiencing in other areas of your life, and either tie them together or prioritize accordingly. I may provide you with supplemental materials in sessions that are intended to further assist you in the connection of our sessions being implemented into your life outside of the sessions. These supplemental materials are for your benefit and are not set with any expectations. The environment is calm and soothing and the goal is to help you help yourself.
If I am taking medications do I really need therapy?
Medications can be helpful in managing the symptoms of an issue. In fact, in some cases medications are necessary in order to stabilize and be able to attend sessions and receive the information. However, medications by themselves tend to only treat the surface level. Therapy seeks to address the root causes and origination of the issue for a deeper healing.
I have friends and family that I can talk to, isn't that enough?
Depending on what you are going through, sometimes friends and family may not be enough. While your friends and family are great sources of love and support, they lack the training and skillset of a therapist to provide clinical diagnostics and analysis, as well as laws that protect your confidentiality. Additionally friends and family may have the best intentions for you but are still bias sources of information. Therapists are objective in that they are detached from your every day life and have therapeutic boundaries to protect against biases or conflict of interests. The purpose of the therapeutic relationship is designed to be solely about you and your needs. It is a relationship that is intended for you to focus on taking for yourself and giving to just yourself.
Can I ask questions about you?
I am more than willing to answer questions about myself so long as the purpose of the question relates to helping you. Certain pieces of information about myself may not be helpful to the therapeutic relationship as it can be distracting from the purpose to help you focus on yourself.
Do you really care about me?
Often times we project the way that we feel about ourselves onto others. Thus, if you struggle to see your own worth and value it may be difficult to imagine that someone else can see value and worth in you. Furthermore, if you have experienced people hurting you, it may be even more difficult to believe anyone can truly be caring or different. However, these are some of the precise areas that therapy can help you heal. Compassion is what led me into this field and our therapeutic relationship is an opportunity for you to recognize that you are worthy of being cared for and there are sincere people in the world. I genuinely believe that each person that comes through my doors I was meant to interact with in some way or fashion. So to answer this question, I most definitely care about every single client that I get the opportunity to work with.
If I have been to therapy before, is there any reason to go back?
Absolutely! For starters different therapists present with differing perspectives and styles that can all serve its own purposes and be beneficial. But in addition to that, we are all creatures constantly evolving. The thoughts and feelings we may have had in the past can change over time and need to be revisited. Furthermore, life circumstances continue to develop in our lives and there may be new issues to work through. Therapy is a form of treatment, just like we take cold medicine whenever we catch a cold, therapy is comparable to this in that you receive it when you need it.