On Therapy

When I introduce myself as a therapist I tend to get one straight-forward reaction, people get quiet and back away. I think that the field has trouble because many people do not understand what modern therapy is. There are still visions of older bearded men sitting down on a couch asking probing and uncomfortable questions about your mother and comparing everything to penises. Most people who see me spend the first session just getting to know what therapy truly is. So I thought I would take time in a blog to talk about my form of therapy and what has changed through the years.
Freud is, of course, the bearded man behind the notebook we all think of. Freud is the founder of Psychology and the field owes a debt to his contributions. Things have drifted in the field since Freud’s time. For example, I believe in a collaborative therapy situation. This means that the therapist and client work together towards a common goal set out by the client. When people come into a therapy office, they know what they are seeking as a general rule. There is a problem in their lives, they are looking to change things. This is where modern therapists usually differ from traditional ways of handling things. The client has much more control and responsibility in the session itself. We are going to work together to help you through your problems.
Therapy also brings to mind years of endless probing into problems with your parents’, grandparents, and every other person in your life. It is true, some people spend years in therapy and they enjoy this. Again, most people come in for a specific problem and work on that. Therapy does not have to be long lasting. If the client puts forth effort and works hard, you can get through problems and finish without years of working. Therapist now and days understand that finances come into play and sometimes you got to work on your issues now.
The other frequent stigma comes from this idea that only crazy people seek therapy. I get people from all walks of life, but I would not characterize them as crazy. I would say the majority of people who come to therapy, do so because something in their lives are difficult and they need help getting through a tough time. You could lose a loved one, lose a job, get married, have a baby, move out of your parents house, change careers. There are many different situations which arise in normal people’s lives where they need extra help in working through difficult situations. Those are the people who seek a therapist and they are normal people like you.
Now and days therapy comes in all shapes and sizes. There are therapists who believe in more logical and practical solutions to problems and some that delve into the depths of the psyche. Finding the right therapist is about connection. You can go to the world’s best therapist and they don’t work for you. Meet your therapist and get a feeling for them. See if you can work with them. Remember, just because they are a good therapist, doesn’t mean they are right for you. Everyone should shop around, not for the best price, but for the best match for you personally. Therapy is about working with someone you feel comfortable with, who works with you on your needs and goals. Seek that person out.