What is “Psychotherapy”?

Psychotherapy is the general name for a variety of psychological interventions designed to help people to resolve emotional, behavioral, or interpersonal problems of various kinds, and in so doing to improve the quality of their lives. The basic goal of therapy, therefore, is to assist you in becoming more self aware, and in taking more active and effective charge of your life.

Psychotherapy can be broad in scope and there are a variety of different approaches. How your therapist will work with you will vary depending on the personalities of the therapist and patient, and on the particular problems you are experiencing. There are many different methods we may use to deal with the problems that you hope to address. Psychotherapy is not like a visit to your family physician. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about both during our sessions and at home.

Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have many benefits. It is our belief that it is during times of struggle and hardship that we are able to grow the most. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, greater effectiveness in dealing with our problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. Still, there are no guarantees of what you will experience.

Our first few sessions will involve an evaluation of your needs. By the end of the evaluation, we will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work will entail. We will talk about defining realistic goals and how to go about achieving those goals, if you decide to continue with therapy. Psychotherapy involves a large commitment of time, money, and energy, so you should be very careful about the therapist you select. For our work to be effective, it is extremely important that you trust and feel comfortable with your therapist. If you have questions about our procedures, we should discuss them whenever they arise. If your doubts persist, we will be happy to help you set up a meeting with another mental health professional for a second opinion.