1. What issues do I address in my practice?
Distress can manifest itself in many ways such as anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, negative thinking, making "the right" career choice, eating disorders, addictions, trauma, physical or sexual abuse, discrimination, issues relating to sexual orientation, creative blocks, unhappy relationships, ongoing difficulties with one's family of origin, recent immigration, problems in the workplace, stresses of parenting, separation/divorce, loss of a loved one, disability, sickness etc.
2. Who are my clients?
My practice is exclusively adult. I see individuals as well as couples.
3. What happens in individual psychotherapy?
Individual clients will come to psychotherapy with specific concerns as well as general feelings of distress. Presenting problems often uncover familiar patterns in one's life, which then will lead to exploration and discovery. With every session more information is gathered and a perspective on the client's life emerges. Growing awareness and a greater sense of agency combine to combat the feeling of "stuckness," offering instead more options to change, than what was previously thought.
4. What happens in Couples Therapy?
Couples come to therapy with various questions about their relationship and its future. Sometimes they are looking for ways to relieve the stress of interaction that has gone awry. The innocent exchanges seem to lead to the same old argument and both individuals may feel as though their backs are against the wall. Communication and being understood are also key areas of concentration. We work together to look at what's behind the surface problems, unraveling and discovering ways to alter patterns in order to have more mutually satisfying outcomes.
5. What will psychotherapy do for me?
The therapeutic setting will provide a much needed space to explore intimate thoughts and feelings that may seem difficult to share even with those who are closest to us. In addition, there is a large body of psychological work that helps shed light on human emotional experience, addressing the deep fear that there "may be something wrong with us." The protective therapeutic setting offers safety of expression, and expanded understanding which strengthens our resolve to live life.
6. What about short term psychotherapy?
There are certain issues that can be addressed in short term psychotherapy, which will likely take the form of counseling or crisis management. But long standing patterns of distress will require more time for change, time for the psychotherapist to understand the client's unique situation and for the client to feel comfortable expressing troubling feelings in order to understand what can be done to create a more acceptable outcome.
7. What about medication/anti-depressants?
Only someone with a medical degree can prescribe medication. Therefore consultation with a family doctor or another physician is very important. Any extreme feelings, acute feelings of panic which interrupt sleep and interfere with responsibilities, thoughts of violence against oneself or others, etc., should be discussed both with the therapist and with a physician. I am happy to collaborate with a physician if a client is considering taking medication. Many clients also choose not to be on medication as there are side effects.
8. When will I no longer need psychotherapy?
Ending psychotherapy is a personal decision based on a variety of factors. Feeling better about yourself, being better able to manage the stresses in your life, having a sense of hope, potential, or peace of mind are all markers for ending therapy. Whatever the reason, closure sessions are extremely important. Taking the time to say goodbye is a way of respecting the work and acknowledging that it is time to move on.
9. I know people what have been in psychotherapy for years. Does that mean that they are not getting better?
Not at all. Like an exercise program or specific diet, therapy can be viewed as good psychic maintenance. Some people value the continued exchange between psychotherapist and client, as the client's life unfolds leading to other challenging circumstances.
10. How often should I go?
Weekly 60 minute sessions for individuals and 90 minute sessions for couples are the most common and satisfy busy schedules. However, longer or more frequent sessions can be arranged, depending on need and personal preference.