The National Institute of Mental Health very nicely describes psychotherapy:
"Psychotherapy, or "talk therapy", is a way to treat people with a mental disorder by helping them understand their illness. It teaches people strategies and gives them tools to deal with stress and unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy helps patients manage their symptoms better and function at their best in everyday life.
Sometimes psychotherapy alone may be the best treatment for a person, depending on the illness and its severity. Other times, psychotherapy is combined with medications. Therapists work with an individual or families to devise an appropriate treatment plan."
I see psychotherapy as a compassionate process of discovery whose goal is to eliminate or control troubling, painful symptoms and return you to normal functioning. We will work together to make the change that you seek in your life a reality.
Sometimes, however, change itself may not be the goal of treatment. For example, if your struggle involves something you are trying to cope with, then it is acceptance that is desired. Therapy, therefore, may also be focused on something you cannot change, but must accept. Frequently, therapy involves a bit of both - change and coping. I will lead you to discern what needs to be changed, how to best go about it, and simultaneously assess what needs to be accepted. I have many techniques in my psychological toolbox to assist you in this goal.
An important part of therapy will be practicing new skills that you will learn in our sessions. I may ask you to practice these skills outside our meetings. I may ask you to do take home exercises, or journaling, and perhaps to do other tasks to deepen your learning. You may also have to work on relationships in your life and make long-term efforts to get the best results. These are important parts of personal change.
In regularly scheduled weekly sessions - usually 45 minutes in length - we will work together to address and overcome your emotional and/or psychological problems. Our discussions will enable you to better understand yourself and feel better. Although every case is special and unique, a typical course of treatment will last three to six months.
The majority of people who undertake psychotherapy experience significant improvement. It is important to remember that you are not on this journey alone; rather, we are in this process together and will work together to achieve your goals and get you feeling alive again.