Therapy Frequently Asked Questions
How long will I be in therapy?
The length of time people stay in therapy depends upon how much they want to accomplish. In general, issues that are long-standing in nature take longer to heal than those with a more recent onset. Also, concerns that are limited in their scope require less time than those that are more pervasive in your life. For example, a recently acquired fear of driving after a car accident would take less time to heal than a low self-esteem that’s been with you since childhood.
Because many people try to handle problems on their own first, most people don’t enter therapy until they’ve been suffering for a while. Thus, by the time people come to therapy, their problems usually are long-standing. However there is a lot you can do to speed up your therapeutic work. For example, doing homework assignments between sessions such as writing daily in a journal allows you to explore your therapeutic issues even when you aren’t in my office. Together you and I will determine what therapeutic speed is best for you and we will work accordingly.
Why does therapy help?
I believe that therapy helps people feel better for a variety of reasons. Through therapy people learn to understand themselves in a much deeper way. This enables folks to make better choices for themselves and get more out of their lives. Therapy also helps people release pain that interferes with their ability to relate to themselves and others. Unresolved emotions can stay with us and interfere with our perceptions and expectations of ourselves and the people around us. In effect, unresolved pain causes us to misperceive reality. This is why it is nearly impossible to heal yourself – because you aren’t seeing things realistically in the first place. In fact, Sigmund Freud himself admitted that he couldn’t perform therapy on himself.
What if it doesn’t help me?
It is true that therapy isn’t for everyone. However, it’s been my experience that clients who really want help for their issues, and who are willing to do the work involved, usually get relief. Therapeutic growth is challenging – it requires courage and strength. Sometimes people prefer to maintain old habits and ways of understanding themselves rather than go through the rigors of therapeutic change.
If we find that you require more than talking therapy, we will work in collaboration with other professionals in the community. I know and trust a variety of local professionals, including physicians and physical therapists. Together we will tailor a treatment that meets your specific needs.
Should I bring my significant other?
I do like to meet your partner at some point in the therapeutic process. Knowing them helps me to get to know you better as it gives me another perspective on you. After all, we can only describe ourselves from our own perspective. I also learn about you by getting to know the person you love. In addition, your partner may want to meet me – they will probably be curious about who I am and how I work. As a result, if you are comfortable, I will probably encourage you to bring your partner to a session early on in your treatment.
- 43% of women report a sexual dysfunction. (JAMA 1999)
- 33% of women and 15% of men report low libido. (JAMA 1999)
- 50% of marriages end in divorce. (Census Bureau, www.divorcereform.org/rates.html)
- 3000 couples get divorced each day. (CDC)
- Infidelity estimates in US range from 20-50% (Lampe, P.E. (Ed). Adultery in the United States: Close encounters of the Sixth (or Seventh) kind. Buffalo: Prometheus Books 1987.
- One estimate rates the % of Americans who would have an affair in their lifetime to be as high as 70% (Marriage and Divorce Today, June 1, 1987, cited in Fisher, Helen E. Anatomy of Love: The Natural history of monogamy, adultery, and divorce. New York: WW Norton and Company, Inc., 1992, p. 86.
- Approximately 20% of marriages are considered "sexless."
- Depression affects twice as many women as men.
- 1/7of women will suffer depression in their lifetime (www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/numbers.cfm).
- 73% of all psychiatric medications, including antidepressants, are prescribed to females (American Psychological Association).
- 55% of American adults are overweight and 22% are obese (CDC, www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/women.htm). Many overweight people feel that their weight negatively impacts their life satisfaction.
- 1/3 Americans are sleep deprived (sleep 6 or less hours per day) (archives of internal medicine, www.researchmatters.harvard.edu/story.php?article_id=609).