Commonly Asked Questions About Therapy
I have worked with many clients over the years and several questions tend to keep popping up so I thought I'd answer them all here to help my clients understand my approach and the therapeutic process in general.
Q. How does therapy even work?
A. Therapy 'works' if you are open to the process. If you want to change your life and if you're open to hearing a different way of thinking, therapy will help you. Therapy is basically talking to a completely objective person who is trained in understanding human behavior. Therapists identify and point out to their clients what negative behavior or thoughts they are engaging in. Therapists also support clients through difficult periods of time and provide reassurance an guidance. Also with my speciality, sex therapy, I educate you on why your body and mind are doing certain things and how to move through them to have a healthier relationship with sex.
Q. How long do I have to be in therapy for? Won't it get pretty expensive?
A. There is no set answer for how long one 'needs' to be in therapy for. It really depends on the person and how large the problem they have is. That being said, I do not believe everyone needs weekly therapy for extremely long periods of time. (however some thrive this way) For most of my clients, I recommend weekly or bi-monthly sessions for an average time span of three to twelve months. Yes, this is expensive! I completely agree that therapy is not cheap. However, this is your life we're talking about. You would spend the money on improving your physical health, so why is your mental health any different? You are worth the investment. Effective therapy will change your life for the better.
Q. Can couples therapy really work? My marriage is pretty broken....
This is is a difficult question to answer because it honestly depends on the state of the marriage. If you are pushing your mate to go to a therapist it will not work. He or she needs to be just a willing to fight for your marriage as you are. You can't be in a healthy relationship on your own. Nor should you settle for an unhappy relationship where you are not getting your needs met. If your partner could care less about what makes you happy, something is wrong. And if they don't want to fix that, then no amount of couples therapy will help. However, if he or she is willing to do whatever it takes to save the relationship then couples therapy can be amazing and a crucial part of repairing your broken marriage.
Q: Do we need to go as a couple? Can I see you on my own if I want my own therapy?
A: No. You can come see me as an individual if you want to address your own issues and/or if your partner is unwilling to attend with you. Sometimes it's even beneficial to come alone to work on your issues first, before bringing in your partner. That being said, couples therapy is often much more effective when both partners attend, especially if you're coming to me for sex therapy. If you're seeking therapy in relation to an affair or sex addiction issue, I recommend both the partner and their spouse have individual therapists as well in order to get the support and guidance they both need.
Q: Do I have to see you weekly?
A. No, but I will do an assessment to determine my treatment plan and how often I recommend attending therapy. I completely understand if you want to see me every other week; many of my clients do this. Just understand that any progress will be more slow-going due to the extended nature of the therapy and I will recommend the level of treatment that I view as necessary. However, even twice a month therapy can be effective in helping to improve your life.
Q. Do you hold phone or online sessions?
Yes! I do offer phone sessions and online (video) sessions, but you must be a resident of California. If phone sessions are preferable for you, I recommend we first meet in person initially, and then phone sessions can be arranged moving forward if you prefer.