Frequently Asked Questions

Does getting psychotherapy mean that there is something wrong with me or that I’m crazy?

  • Absolutely not. People from all walks of life seek therapy for a number of reasons, including therapists.  Therapy provides the opportunity for an individual to work with a trained professional regarding the life situations, concerns, and feelings in a safe and non-judgmental environment.  Therapy is about your time to talk about yourself and find ways to resolve issues in a healthy and adaptive manner.

 What is individual psychotherapy?

  • Individual psychotherapy is a personalized, individual, one-on-one experience with you and your mental health practitioner. In individual therapy, we work on your thoughts, emotions, your situations, and your behaviors.  One benefit of individual therapy is the ability to focus solely on your needs and your concerns.  While we may discuss other people in your life, the discussion will be limited to how your relationship with that person or persons affects you.

What is group psychotherapy?

  • Group psychotherapy involves one or more therapist who lead a group of three or more clients. Some group members attend individual therapy in addition to groups.  Group therapy is often designed to address a specific problem (e.g. depression), however, groups can also focus on social skills or support for common issues (e.g. men’s support group).  Group therapy can provide many benefits including having a non-judgmental support network, learning adaptive coping strategies from others, learning how to be open to considering a situation in a new way, and understanding that you are not alone.

What is couples counseling?

  • Couples counseling, or marital therapy, involves a therapist working with a couple to recognize and resolve conflicts in their communication and behavior that contribute to a maladaptive relationship. Couples counseling is beneficial for all types of couples, not just those who are legally bound through marriage.  Marriage counseling can assist you with acute issues, like communication, or more serious issues, such as rebuilding your relationship or deciding to end your relationship.

How long will I be in therapy and how often do I need to attend sessions?

  • The answer to this question depends mostly on you. Many clients attend therapy either weekly or biweekly.  Therapy takes time, so my recommendation is to attempt to give therapy at least six months so that you are able to see the benefits of our work together.  Weekly sessions are recommended–what you can accomplish in therapy in three months attending weekly would take six months if you attended biweekly.

What will we do in therapy?

  • The therapist’s role is to assist you with making the life changes that you choose to make. As a person-centered therapist, I am focused on helping you obtain the life that you desire by working with you on utilizing your strengths to improve your life.  I am also here to support you as we do this challenging work together.  My therapeutic approach involves some skills training, some work outside of therapy, and a great deal of interactive dialogue.

Can you prescribe medication and is medication just as good as therapy?

  • Only psychiatrists (mental health practitioners who attend medical school and completed a four year residency in psychiatry) can prescribe medication. The benefits of medication and therapy depend on your individual situation.  However, there is no magic pill that fixes problems; instead, medication assists you in reducing symptoms so that you can better respond to your life situations.

 Does therapy work?  How will I know when I’m getting better?

  • Yes, therapy works. Research has demonstrated that psychotherapy can assist people in making life changes that result in leading a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life.  Keep in mind that therapy involves working and tackling strong emotional issues.  In order to feel better, we have to work through situations that may be tough or emotional.  You will know that you are getting better as you start to feel your symptoms reducing and you are able to more effectively deal with your life situations.

What can I expect when I meet with you for an initial consultation?

  • Your initial visit will be our first opportunity to start to get to know each other. I will ask you questions about your life and the issues and concerns that led you to seek therapy.  You will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding therapy and my approach to therapy.   We should use the consultation to determine if we would be a good fit to work together.

Can you help me if you do not have the same life experiences that I have?

  • We all come from different walks of life and have different experiences. When we are in the midst of life’s problems, we often only see our version of the situation.  Individuals who are not involved in that situation can often view the issues with fresh eyes and a perspective that we may have never considered.  My goal is to assist you in considering other ways to think about a situation and whether a modification in your thoughts, emotions, and behavior could result in a different consequence.

 How will I know that you are the right therapist for me?

  • One important factor in the success of your therapy is the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist. The best way to determine if we are a good fit is to ask questions before, during, and after our initial consultation.  The right therapist is someone that makes you feel comfortable and allows you to be open and honest regarding your needs.  The right therapist is also one who has the training to help you with the concerns that you bring to therapy.

 

If you have any initial questions that I have not addressed here, please do not hesitate to contact me at 512.593.8488 or PorVidaCounseling@gmail.com.  I will return your call or correspondence within 24 – 48 hours.