What is counseling and is it different from psychotherapy?
I use the terms 'psychotherapy/therapy' and 'counseling' interchangeably in my work and on my website. They mean essentially the same thing - a process of self-discovery, healing, and creating change through insight. Talking with a professional about day-to-day stressors, processing past traumas, and exploring future dreams and goals can help to give you a better sense of understanding and purpose in life. There is something transformative about feeling truly heard, not judged and not analyzed . When another person is able to empathically hear what you mean, how you feel, and what it is like to be you, there is a sort of release and a feeling of the ability to relax and move forward. Therapy can increase your sense of well-being, help you feel unstuck, and improves your overall health. From this healthier place, you can begin to more effectively manage your stress, feel greater enjoyment in your relationships, and live up to your potential!
Who can benefit from counseling/therapy?
Short answer: ANYONE! There is even a counseling niche for infants. I work with adolescents and adults who are looking to grow individually and emotionally and who are ready to begin a process to increase their overall life satisfaction. If you're struggling with one or more of the following issues, you can benefit from regular sessions with a professional.
- Feelings of anxiety
- feeling 'on-edge' or irritable
- having the sense that 'something is wrong with me' or 'something bad is going to happen'
- Feelings of depression
- frequent sadness
- lack of energy, feeling tired all the time
- lack of motivation or sense of purpose in life
- Several failed or strained relationships
- Experiencing symptoms related to a recent trauma or past abuse
- feeling disconnected from others
- fear of leaving the house or moving forward with your life
- feeling paralyzed and stuck
- reliving the experience or having flashbacks of the trauma
- avoiding going places or seeing people that remind you of the event
- Self-sabotaging behavior such as substance use, finding excuses to delay starting your own business or going after that promotion, etc.
- Struggling with identity
- Gender/sexual identity
- Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood
- Feeling overwhelmed about a recent change in life
- Having a child
- Losing/changing employment
- Going to college
- Losing a loved one
What are some benefits of going to therapy on a regular basis?
- A deeper understanding of oneself
- Improved relationships
- Improved physical health
- Increased satisfaction in life
- Alleviating symptoms and issues described above
- Increased productivity
Do I have to talk about uncomfortable topics?
No pressure! Sometimes we'll talk about the weather or the Broncos, and other times we'll talk about the vast emptiness you felt after your daughter left for college. Some people take months to open up, and some spill their guts during the first session. I'll never push you to discuss something I don't feel that you're ready to handle. Ultimately the responsibility is on you to be motivated to better understand yourself and make changes in your life.
Therapy is too expensive. Can't I just figure this out on my own?
Ever add up how much money per month you spend on Starbucks? Or how much a year you spend on your car payment? We all have 'things' in our lives that take up space, but how meaningful are they really? Yes, sometimes we need caffeine to get through the day and a set of wheels to get us around town, but is it worth sacrificing your mental health and quality of life? Therapy is an investment - in yourself. The best one you can make.
If I go to therapy, will everyone else think I'm crazy?
Unfortunately there has been a long history of stigma around mental health, but I feel it lifting as awareness increases and people share their stories. Approximately 1 out of 5 people in the US experience mental illness in a given year and the numbers are increasing. You don't have to tell anyone that you're coming to therapy if you don't want to, but sharing this with someone may inspire them to deal with the symptoms they have been having for years and haven't had the courage to face. Of course this is confidential information, but taking a stand against the stigma of mental illness is a battle we're all facing together.
What is the first step?
Email is the best way to reach me. I will respond within 24 hours to schedule a phone consultation, and if we decide to work together, we can then discuss payment and scheduling. Our first session will be a 1-hour intake, where I will ask questions related to your history, health, and expectations for therapy.