How can therapy help?
Depending upon the circumstances that lead you to start therapy, therapy can help in a variety of ways. Your therapist can provide you with support, coping strategies, and assistance with thinking through major life decisions. Your therapist can offer a fresh perspective and help you arrive at your own solutions. She will also encourage you to be introspective and to understand yourself better, which can promote personal growth and improve your relationships with others.
Do I really need to participate in therapy? I can usually handle things on my own.
Therapy can help with all sorts of problems, big or small. Everyone goes through difficult or stressful times in their lives at one point or another. We all experience reactions to major life events: romantic breakup, loss of a job, death of a loved one, transitioning from one stage of life to another (e.g. becoming a parent). Therapy can help provide support during such times. Furthermore, therapy is an active process that requires you to examine your personality, relationships, and how you deal with stressors, which takes a lot of work. By engaging in therapy, you are taking on the responsibility of helping yourself and committing to making a positive change.
What is therapy like?
Since each person has unique issues and goals for psychotherapy, the actual experience of therapy will be different for each individual. In general, you and your therapist will discuss events and relationships in your life, as well as details from your personal history that are relevant to your current issues. In order for therapy to be effective, it is important to meet regularly. Typically, clients meet with their therapist once a week for 45 minute sessions, but you and your therapist may decide to meet more frequently.
Is what I tell my therapist kept confidential?
Perhaps the most important element in therapy is developing a sense of trust with your therapist. What you share with your therapist remains confidential for exactly this reason. When you arrive to NYC Psychotherapy Associates for your first session you will be given a written document to review which describes the agreement about confidentiality that you will have with your therapist. With the exception of certain special circumstances, your therapist will not discuss your private information with anyone other than you. Sometimes clients will request that their therapist speak with another professional, such as a psychiatrist, in order to coordinate the treatment. In such a case, you would formally provide written permission to your therapist so that she may do so. There are certain situations, however, when your therapist may be obligated to share your information without your permission in order to protect the safety of either yourself or someone else. These situations tend to be very rare, and your therapist will discuss this with you in more detail upon your first meeting.