Why should I consider therapy to solve my problems? Can’t I just talk to a friend?
A trusted friend is always a blessing and a wonderful source of support. However, while a friend may soothe and support you, some problems require professional atte.ntion. Some situations are so deeply personal and complex that you can’t share with a friend, maybe at first or you may risk traumatizing that friend. Therapy provides a platform for healing in total confidentiality, without any judgement whatsoever. The Therapist’s sole mission is to help you get to a healthier, happier life
"How long will it take, and how often do I have to attend?"
Each situation is as different and diverse as the human individual. However, with CBT, 12 sessions is the average amount of time and SFBT would be at a 6-session maximum. It all depends, among other factors, on the depth, magnitude and persistence of the problem, the client’s motivation to work toward a solution with the therapist, sometimes external supports. As far as frequency is concerned, depending on your resources and need, you might have appointments once a week, or once every two weeks. Sometimes, at the beginning of therapy more frequent sessions may be necessary as in depression cases, for example. The periods between sessions are longer as the client becomes more stabilized and stronger.
It may take more than one session to make a complete assessment of your issues. However, in the first session we will discuss your reason(s) for seeking therapy and decide upon some healthy coping tools to provide some alleviation to your problem.
"How do I know which type of professional helper is right for me?"
Counselors and psychotherapists come from various professional disciplines including social work, psychology, psychiatry, educational counseling, pastoral counseling and psychoanalysis. All these schools prepare their graduates to do this work, but with differing orientations and specializations. For example, social work includes the psychosocial context and its impact on the individual in considerations of therapy and works to connect the individual to appropriate resources in the community that will contribute to successful outcomes for the presenting issue.
What is most important however, is that you feel that your therapist respects you, does not stand in judgment of you, inspires your confidence, helps you to feel safe and is working as a team with you toward the achievement of your therapy goals. The therapeutic relationship is much more important for success rather than the particular discipline to which the therapist belongs.
Always ensure that whichever practitioner you choose is operating under a valid licence and is trained in the area of specialization that you require. You can always verify this information by checking the website of the relevant licensing authority of your practitioner (e.g. Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers). Malpractice insurance is an additional reassurance for clients.