1. How do I know if I need therapy?
The most basic answer is that therapy might be helpful if you have a problem that continues to bother you after you have tried unsuccessfully to work through it on your own. People choose to see a therapist for various reasons including: anger management, unresolved grief, divorce, depression, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, self esteem, or to increase relationship satisfaction.
2. How do I choose a therapist?
Choosing a therapist can be daunting. It is most important to find someone you trust and are comfortable talking with about the things that are causing you distress. It is helpful to think about if you are more comfortable with a certain type of person (gender, religion, age, etc). Researching therapists to discover if they have experience or specialize in the issues you are seeking helps to ensure a more successful outcome.
3. What can I expect at the first session?
Usually there is intake paperwork to complete in order to give the therapist general information about you. If you are not able to complete the paperwork before the session, it is recommended that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the appointment in order to have it completed prior to the time with the therapist. The first session is usually a time to get a good background and description of the problem you are wanting to work on. It is also a good opportunity for you to ask questions of the therapist about experience and discover if the counselor is right for you.
4. How long will therapy take to help me feel better?
The answer depends a lot on you. Some people take a few weeks to warm up to the therapist and be able to talk about the issue that brought them to therapy to begin with, while others begin talking from the first session. By talking with your therapist openly and honestly you enable the process to move along more quickly. However, most people come to therapy after suffering for several years. It makes sense that behaviors that have been going on for a while are going to take some time to change. However, you should leave the first appointment with some hope that things will begin to get better through therapy. At JM Counseling, we provide a written and individualized plan of care at the second session which describes the problem, goals for treatment and an approximation of how many sessions it will take to meet the goals.