Psychotherapy and Counselling
Sometimes you don’t know what’s wrong … you just know something is wrong. You may feel determined to make some of your behaviours, emotions and thoughts go away, once and for all. Maybe you are tired of feeling stuck, unloveable, ashamed, afraid, anxious or depressed. I work with men and women who want to better cope and who are ready to be heard and validated, with calm compassion and patient persistence.
I take an internal family systems-informed, strengths-based and collaboratively curious approach. If it makes sense, I may suggest we bring in some cognitive behavioural therapy and EMDR to help you with your healing. Together we will consider how your behaviours, emotions and thoughts connect so you make more space for your own Self in your own life.
You may begin with a focused problem and then decide you would like to go deeper with psychotherapy. Or you may start deep, realize you aren’t quite ready for that, and then move into counselling. Or maybe we will blend the two from time to time, depending on what you need. Either way, we will work to develop a collaborative, empathetic and therapeutic relationship with you in a safe space. This will help you feel free to say and do whatever you need as you learn to more fully engage in life again.
Psychotherapy Brings Risks and Rewards
Psychotherapy is risky. You may have blocked out or downplayed feelings and thoughts for a long time. Discussing these can bring up uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger and loneliness. In fact, that is probably why you’ve worked so hard to block them out or downplayed them. What you are thinking, feeling and doing worked so well they got you here, alive. Now you might feel stuck but things have been buried so deep you don’t know why you are stuck or how to get unstuck. Maybe you can’t find the words to explain what is going on. Making changes to what you think, do, say or feel can disrupt your relationships and can be scary. Taking these risks might be helpful for you. Only you will know whether the possibility of a positive change and hope is right for you and is worth risking therapy at any point in your life. Like most things in life, therapy does not come with a guarantee.
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – M. Scott Peck
Psychotherapy Takes Commitment
How long therapy takes is as varied as the reasons people come to therapy. It will depend on your goals and the complexity of the problem that brought you to therapy. Some clients see change quickly (perhaps in 6 to 8 sessions) and others see the change they want after many more sessions (perhaps at least 12 to 20 sessions). Some people change their goals throughout therapy. Some people begin with weekly sessions but taper off as they near completion of their goals. Some people step away from therapy and come back after several weeks. Usually people commit to a number of weekly sessions and regularly evaluate how the therapy is unfolding. There is no hard-and-fast rule other than the number and frequency of sessions is open to discussion.
Psychotherapy Takes Creativity
Psychotherapy is not one-way-fits-all. It takes creativity. There are many different methods we might use to deal with what has brought you to therapy. These might include dialogue, exploration of meanings, noticing and doing experiments, visualization or relaxation. You have the right to refuse to do anything I suggest. Psychotherapy works better when you work on the things we talk about between sessions, keeping in mind that the things we talk about will be geared towards what is reasonable for you in your process of change and hope.
Psychotherapy Affects Relationships
What happens in our sessions and our therapeutic relationship may mirror what happens for you outside of the sessions. It can give you an opportunity to experiment with different ways of being in a safe, non-judgmental environment. We can look at how your past experiences may be affecting your present relationships. Therapy works better when you feel safe enough to be able to say anything. You need to feel heard and accepted as you are in the moment.