How does therapy work and how long does it take?
Each person is unique in a variety of areas-be it past experiences, perceptions about themselves, the problems they are having, or what their goals may be. Some clients have very specific ideas about the kind of therapist or therapy they are looking for. Others, especially those seeking therapy for the first time, have many questions and are seeking support, encouragement and direction. Because of these variables, treatment and the length of time for effective treatment is tailored. At Wellspring Counseling of the Finger Lakes, your therapist will take the time to get to know YOU. Then together, you can both determine what is best. As clients grow in their understanding of the therapeutic process and discover how to help themselves, they often experience the benefits more quickly. Your commitment to therapy will have a direct impact on the effectiveness of treatment including the length of time it takes to feel better and reach your goals.
I’ve already tried therapy before and it helped a little but I am right back where I started. Why bother trying again?
Most people wait years before making the decision to seek out a therapist. Once they try it, there can be many reasons why it didn’t have long lasting effects. Perhaps you and a particular therapist didn’t “hit it off” or it was not made clear to you how the treatment process works. Perhaps you were hoping the therapist would both identify the problem and offer the solution for you. And sometimes, traditional talk therapy sessions can shift into friendly, social “visits” with the therapist, where the conversations, though pleasant, seem unfocused, drifting away from your initial concerns and goals for treatment. Or the methods used may have been helpful at the time, but the effects were neither transformational or long-lasting.
At Wellspring Counseling of the Finger Lakes, you should find therapy to be a targeted, active process, inviting you to be not only engaged as the expert of your experience but curious and challenged by the possibilities of finding new ways of “seeing and knowing” oneself and living an empowered life.
Simply put-with the encouragement and guidance of an experienced professional, you should be able to discover not only what’s going on for you, but be able to clarify what you need and how to get it.
Tried therapy before? I encourage you to try again.
Why can’t I just take medication for what’s bothering me?
Of course, you can. Medication can be quite helpful for some, reducing the negative impact of your symptoms-that is-what you are experiencing that is troubling you. But medication alone can mask symptoms, making it more difficult to understand cause and effect. And there are side effects. That is why your primary care provider will often encourage you to seek out a counselor or a therapist before taking a psychotropic medication. Or at the minimum, have a trial period of taking a medication, while seeking mental health support. Balancing out the risk/benefit, including the side effects, should always be a part of any discussion with your provider. Having a complete physical is a great first step, to rule out medical causes for your mental health symptoms. Therapists often work in tandem with your primary care provider, giving you a team of helpers. At the minimum, talk to your doctor or PCP plus a counselor or a therapist to see if you can reduce or alleviate your mental health symptoms. By increasing your understanding of the mind/body connection and getting to the “heart and soul” of what’s troubling you, you can truly transform your life, and perhaps even reduce the need to either use or increase dosage of certain medications.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come as a couple?
This is a common question. It often helps to first consider where the root of your problems lie. It is human nature to first think “when I hurt, it must be someone else’s fault.” But, perhaps one of you has or both of you have a history of mood swings, anxiety, trouble dealing with conflict, anger management issues, or has experienced past harm or a traumatic event–some or all of which may have been present, prior to this relationship or prior to your marriage. Determine where the underlying problems stem from. It might make sense to have each one or both of you seek out individual help and then engage in couple’s work down the road. A great couple’s therapist can help you make this decision.
However, if you are primarily concerned about your relationship due to ineffective communication, trust issues, high levels of criticism or conflict, or if it feels like the “juice in your relationship” has soured; then couples counseling is well worth exploring. Many couples wait too long until problems deepen and loneliness and isolation intensifies, making it more difficult to generate a positive view of self or the other. Don’t wait any longer.
At Wellspring Counseling of the Finger Lakes, individual conversations and assessments are built into the couple’s counseling framework, giving each partner an opportunity to express themselves freely and openly. The therapist will guide you in zeroing in on the core concerns, working with the two of you to determine what is needed, making the appropriate recommendations. Once treatment goals are clearly identified, communication and relationship skills are taught that enhance openness, listening, trust, greater appreciation, and the desire to have fun together once again. As couples work toward improved communication, they see more good in the other. Hope, enthusiasm and intimacy are ignited. Now you’re talking!!