IS IT BAD TO HAVE TO SEEK THERAPY?
The short answer is "No!", unless you feel that getting a massage or asking anyone for advice is weird too. Psychotherapy is simply one way to fill the function of support systems that no longer exist. These days, we do not have the supports that were built into traditional societies in the form of extended families, multi-generational homes, initiation societies, mentorship, and even shamanic rituals. The result is that many people feel left alone with their problems.
Others feel that their friends and family members might not be ready for hearing what troubles them. Some do not have friends or families that are there for them for different reasons. Psychotherapy is one way to get alternate ways of thinking about your life.
Individual vs Group Therapy?
In both modalities, these confidential services help you release ineffective patterns of living and thinking. Our goals is to help you learn joyfully from your natural wisdom, and make explicit and manifest the vision you hold for the unfolding of your life.
Individual therapy allows you to work in depth with a person trained and experienced in the art of helping. I have helped more than 1700 individuals in multiple capacities.
Group therapy helps your learn how to improve your life while also improving interpersonal communication skills and social skills. It allows clients to learn how to express their issues and understand how your concerns come across to others. Group therapy is also beneficial because helping others teaches you how to structure your mind in positive and helpful ways that you can apply to your own needs and makes you feel good.
In both modalities I help you practice living that results from choosing from a fuller life menu, unfettered by fear or limitations.
Both modalities offer compassionate, engaged and insightful approaches.
WHAT IS A SESSION LIKE?
You typically arrive a bit before your appointment to a comfortable waiting room. If you come to see me at Integrative Health Institute you might be in the waiting room with folks that go there for a wide range of things, so nobody will know you are there for psychotherapy. When you see me at a mental health office I avoid scheduling people together in the waiting room, but in rare occasions you might cross paths with someone else.
After a short wait you will meet privately with your therapist - typically 50 minutes each week for individual therapy. The session will start with a three-minuet mindfulness practice to help you center in the experience. then you will discuss whatever is in your mind to share in the session. My task is to provide a warm and welcoming environment, and use my expertise to help you through the process of figuring out what you need to figure out. (for more information click the "HOW" tab on the bar menu at the top). at the end of teh session, I try to have a few minutes to go over what was useful to you and review what worked for you in the session.
WHAT WILL YOUR THERAPIST, BE DOING?
I will listen mindfully, non-judgmentally, and with empathy. I will provide comments as needed, reflecting back to you the patterns I would notice, offering alternate ways to see the situations or concerns, and helping you figure out ways to empower yourself to change in your perception, approach or behaviors. You set the pace, I will facilitate the process.
As your therapist, I might also give you "homework" to support your process or might lead you in mindfulness practice during the session.
Sometimes I might offer you to use expressive modalities when I notice that talking might not help as much. You may want to do role playing, or to stage with figures, drawings or puppets a situation that you need to resolve. I sometimes offer my clients a sand-tray with small toy figures to build images and work them through.
There are many other modes that I may offer to use in your session, but the main one is responding to what you share with warmth, empathy, acceptance and an alternate point of view.