A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, and stress management. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and marriage issues. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life and there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who realize they need a helping hand and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides you with the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts, and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with tools to get them through these tough periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.
Everyone has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. You will be provided a written copy of the confidential disclosure agreement and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”.
However, there are some exceptions to confidentiality. Under state law and professional ethics the therapist has a "Duty to Warn" if the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or another person.