What is therapy?
Therapy is the process of working through troubling experiences and inspire change so that you can become the best version of yourself. Therapy includes the therapist and the client. This relationship is built on trust, transparency and open-mindness. Key traits that your therapist will have is compassion, empathy and will hold you to a standard of accountability. The client has the option to bring in others who hold key positions within their life (i.e. spouses, parents, children, significant others, etc.)
What should I expect when I go to a therapy session?
Prior to your 1st session, you should have received intake paperwork. This will include a series of forms that grant your therapist to engage in therapy with you and various policies (i.e. social media, payment, no show/cancellation, etc.) At your 1st session, you turn in the forms. Your therapist will explore the challenges that you are currently experiencing and how you feel about those challenges. The 2nd and 3rd sessions serve as getting to know you sessions,( i.e., if your therapist is a marriage and family therapist, they may ask you different questions about your family who reared you). By the 4th session, your treatment plan will have been completed based on information that you have shared with your therapist. The rest of your time will be spent on completing the items on your treatment plan so that you can have the life that you would like to have.
How long does therapy take? Do I have to go for the rest of my life?
Therapy takes as long as it takes. You are the greatest determining factor as to how long the process takes. Are you working your treatment plan? Are you taking your treatment seriously (i.e. are you coming to all of your scheduled appoints, are you completing homework assignments). Are you finding that as you resolve one thing you now want to work on something else? Everything depends on YOU.
When will the pain go away so that I can begin to feel “normal”?
Unfortunately, there is no specific time table as to when you will experience an alleviation of your symptoms; however, at Shirley Therapeutic and Consulting Services, LLC, you will be receiving skills, techniques and homework assignments that will provide you the tools to adjust the influence of your way emotions, thoughts and actions. By shifting how you respond to your emotions, guarding your thoughts and acting purposefully with intention, you will find slow, constant relief of your symptoms.
Can my therapist be my friend?
Even though there is a true bond between you and your therapist, the therapeutic relationship is so different from any other relationship that you will ever have. The therapeutic relationship is rooted in the perfect balance of objective emotion. There will be feelings that you will have for your therapist (I mean she will probably know things about you that no one else does.) Your therapist will maintain a level of ethical, professionalism that will always protect the relationship so that you will always have a safe place to unload.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.