What Is Psychotherapy?

    Psychotherapy is a process through which you may learn to make better decisions, improve personal skills, develop increased confidence in your abilities, improve adaptability to changing life demands, enhance environmental coping skills, and acquire a keener awareness and appreciation of both your needs and those of other people. Psychotherapy services are used by individuals, couples, and families of all age groups to cope with problems connected with education, career choice, work, sex, marriage, family, other social relations, health, aging, and handicaps of a social or physical nature.

    Psychotherapy may be either an individual or a group process. Group psychotherapy offers the unique opportunity to explore both personal and interpersonal concerns within the supportive relationship developed among group members. Groups are also offered to build specific skills such as assertiveness, stress management, or career decision making. Whether you choose individual or group therapy, there are several important steps in the therapeutic process. You and your therapist will spend some time getting to know each other, talking about your concerns, how you view yourself, and the world you live in. As you talk together, you will begin to clarify your feelings and needs. Realistic goals will then be developed to meet your needs and methods for achieving your goals will be mutually explored. Your therapist may also recommend some type of psychological testing to aid in the direction and development of your goals, or to gain further information and insight into your personal concerns. As you discover ways to make positive changes in your life, you will learn to accept the responsibility for your choices and enhance your ability to create and enjoy the life you choose. You will be actively involved in this process, both during the therapy sessions and outside therapy as you implement new skills and insights.

    In order to help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself, it is important to build a trusting relationship between you and your therapist. A professional and personal code of ethics governs our services. Confidentiality is respected and protected, within the limits of state and federal (legal and judicial) decisions, with the most notable exception being situations involving imminent harm to you or other persons. Psychotherapy sessions usually last about 50 minutes for individual therapy and 1-2 hours for group psychotherapy, meeting once per week; although more frequent or less frequent sessions may be recommended. The duration of therapy varies with the issues and problems of the client. You may have questions about our services or about the psychotherapeutic process which have not been answered here. Please feel free to ask your therapist.