There are many misconceptions regarding what therapy truly consists of, who is likely to attend therapy, and what happens in the course of therapy. Therapy is a process, in which we create a meaningful and deep therapeutic connection to help you better understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The basic goals of therapy are to increase awareness about yourself and your past to better help you in the present and future. Therapy can have very specific, concrete goals that are short-term in nature or more long-term goals that will require more in-depth work. Many times people believe that going to therapy means you must have severe mental health concerns. Therapy can be utilized for the treatment and management of specific mental health issues (such as depression, addiction, trauma, or anxiety). Although this is one area in which therapy is beneficial, it is common to enter therapy for multiple other reasons. Individuals can seek therapy for more common life difficulties that most all humans experience at one time or another, such as stress, family conflict, marital conflict, or death or loss of a loved one. Other times therapy is used as a protective measure to enhance existing relationships, or simply to gain a better understanding of yourself. Utilizing therapy means you are turning to a healthy coping resources as opposed to the denial of these difficulties, which can often worsen the problem. Everyone can use a helping hand from time to time. Some periods of life call for more support than others. It takes strength to acknowledge the need for therapy.
You are likely to experience a wide range of emotions throughout your sessions, at times positive and other times negative. It can be anxiety-provoking to take the first step and start therapy. It’s normal to have this experience. However, most of the time once contact is made most individuals begin to feel very comfortable. Therapy gains and benefits are largely due to factors such as the client’s willingness to work in therapy and the quality of the alliance formed between the client and therapist. Therefore, it is essential both the therapist and client feel as though they are a good fit for each other in order to benefit from the therapeutic process.