My Approach to Therapy
I strongly believe you should feel comfortable with the therapist you choose and hopeful about the outcomes of
counseling. When you feel this way, individual therapy is more likely to be helpful. Let me describe my approach
The type of therapy I generally do is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Many people believe that our behavior and feelings are caused by what we are experiencing in the real world. However,
this is not quite true. When we have any kind of experience, it does not affect us directly. Rather, we first give it
a meaning through our beliefs about what we’ve experienced. For example, if I hear a sound in the kitchen and
believe it is made by my husband, I am not concerned at all. But if I believe I am alone in the house, that same sound
may concern me a great deal more. Here we see that feelings and behaviors (my actions about the sound) come from the
active process of thinking and adding meaning to the actual event (the sound.) Of course, there are many ways to approach
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and working together, you will learn more about this therapy and most importantly - you will
learn more about yourself.
We will work under the premise that beliefs can be separated into two kinds: "rational" beliefs, or ones based
on reality and logic, and "irrational" beliefs, or ones based on false or unrealistic ideas.
When we have irrational beliefs, we suffer from strong negative emotions (like rage, guilt, depression,
and anxiety).When we act on the basis of irrational beliefs, our actions are often not effective and can make
it difficult to build and maintain healthy relationships with others. If we have rational beliefs, we may
experience more of the positive emotions (like pleasure, hope, and joy). We may still experience mildly negative
emotions, like irritation, sadness, and concern, but our behaviors will be more effective and appropriate to the
situation. In addition, when our strong emotions are not holding us captive, we are able to find resolution to
some of our most challenging stressors.
I think of my approach to helping people with their problems as an educational one. Anyone can learn to
recognize irrational beliefs, dispute them, and replace them with more rational beliefs. With practice, we can
unlearn irrational beliefs and become happier persons who function better in the world. Contact
me to start working together today.
I will generally take notes during our session. I encourage you to do the same. In addition, you may also
want to start a journal. By the end of our first or second session, I will tell you how I see your case at this
point and how I think we should proceed. I view therapy as a partnership between us. You define the problem areas
to be worked on; I will help you make the changes you want to make. Psychotherapy is not like visiting a medical
doctor. It requires your active involvement. It requires your best efforts to change thoughts, feelings, and
behaviors. For example, I want you to tell me about important experiences, what they mean to you, and what strong
feelings are involved. This is one of the ways you are an active partner in therapy.
Change will sometimes be easy and quick, but more often it will be slow and frustrating, and you will need to
keep trying. There are no instant, painless cures and no “magic pills.” However, you can learn new ways
of looking at your problems that will be very helpful for changing your feelings and reactions. Start the process of
changing today. Contact me now for an appointment.
The Benefits & Risks of Psychotherapy
As with any treatment, there are some risks as well as benefits with therapy. You should think about the benefits
and risks when making any treatment decisions. For example, in therapy, there is a risk that clients will, for a
time, have uncomfortable levels of sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, or other
negative feelings. Clients may recall unpleasant memories. These feelings or memories may bother a client at work
or in school. Clients in therapy may have problems with people important to them. Family secrets may be told.
Therapy may disrupt a marital relationship and sometimes may even lead to a divorce. Sometimes, too, a
client’s problems may temporarily worsen after the beginning of treatment. Most of these risks are to be
expected when people are making important changes in their lives. You should also know that the benefits of
psychotherapy have been shown by scientists in hundreds of well-designed research studies. People who are depressed
may find their mood lifting. Others may no longer feel afraid, angry, or anxious. In therapy, people have a chance
to talk things out fully until their feelings are relieved or their problems resolved. Clients’ relationships
and coping skills may improve greatly. They may get more satisfaction out of social and family relationships. Their
personal goals and values may become clearer. They may grow in many directions - as persons, in their close relationships,
in their work or school, and in their ability to enjoy their lives. Start today
with an appointment request.