I’ve never considered doing therapy before as I'm used to handling things on my own. Why I can’t seem to be able to figure things out now?

Everyone needs help now and then, even those of us who are pretty good at doing it on our own. Therapists go to therapy too!

Most of our ways of coping with stress and pain have been successful in the past, but for whatever reason, there comes the point when they no longer work as well. That is when situations become problematic or when we develop a particular symptom. Many high-achieving professionals feel confused when they find themselves needing help with their emotional health because they are very successful in very pressing environments. They don’t think that the stress that they feel is anything “new.” This sometimes causes them to ignore signals along the way. At some point, the “mind-body” rebels and calls attention a bit louder. For instance, causing us to lose our natural ability to sleep. Or we find ourselves unable to regain motivation to do our work or enjoy things that we usually enjoy.

When we are under a lot of pain, we tend to not have as much access to our “normal” way of being, our strengths.

What’s the difference between talking to a therapist or my best friend or family?

The work of therapy goes beyond just talking to someone or getting advice. Therapy taps into our vital need to feel safe and connected to others and to ourselves. In therapy, you have no pressure to take care of another person’s feelings or needs. Just yours. And by the way, no, going to therapy doesn’t make you selfish or self-centered.

In therapy, you are invited to be kind and suspend judgment so that you can understand better what is causing your current problem. The healing nature of therapy, at least how we see it at the Center for Effective Psychological Services, is in the relationship itself. We also pride ourselves on our willingness to be innovative, creative, and to tailor our interventions to what works best for you. Bear in mind that what is best for you, doesn’t necessarily mean what feels easy to you. Therapy is not comfortable, and it shouldn’t be.

However, we are trained in modalities of therapy that take into consideration the importance of always working within the “window of optimal tolerance.” We know from research and experience that if you are not feeling challenged in therapy, you can’t expect change. And if you are feeling overwhelmed during treatment, there won’t be change either because we can’t learn when we are flooded with emotions. All our therapists are trained to incorporate the body as a resource.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual and also the therapist.

We tailor our therapeutic approach to our client’s specific needs. Our mission at the Center for Effective Psychological Services is to provide therapy that is highly intentional and experiential so that we can help clients achieve their goals in a time-effective manner. We believe that everyone’s time on this earth is precious. We strive to provide therapy that goes beyond solving symptoms. We want your time in therapy to be a life-changing experience for you.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.

However, we also offer time-limited therapy for those who have time or financial limitations that prevent them from engaging in long term work. Time-limited therapy is not helpful to everyone. The decision of what treatment is best for you should be in collaboration with your therapist after a thorough assessment.

For clients who are totally new to the world of therapy and who are not quite ready to make a commitment, we also offer Intensive Consultation appointments, where we meet for blocks of therapy once or twice. This is a form of “trial therapy” that will allow you to get a taste of what psychotherapy is like. It is also an excellent opportunity to gain some knowledge about the possible causes of your current situation and to learn skills to regulate anxiety or engage in healthier responses in times of distress.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication are crucial to your success. After all, therapy is a minimal amount of time compared to the rest of the activities that you do during a week. Being intentional about what brings you to therapy is helpful. Also, we rely on ongoing feedback from you to let us know what is working and what is not working. An essential aspect of therapy is the work you do outside of our sessions, for insight without action does not bring change. Although we all wish for magical solutions, therapy is work, in and outside of the sessions. It is only through committed application and integration of what you learn about yourself in your session that those areas in the brain responsible for our emotional wellbeing can be “rewired.”