What to Expect in Individual and Couples Psychotherapy:
If you are considering psychotherapy here are some important questions to ask your therapist:
• Is psychotherapy necessary?
• How does psychological change happen?
• How can you help me?
• How long does individual therapy or couples therapy take to be effective?
If you are experiencing increasing or ongoing depression or anxiety, if you are having problems focusing, if you are not functioning well socially or occupationally, or if you are feeling continually frustrated in your life, then it can be very helpful to consider psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy uses a variety of different techniques, strategies and theories, depending on the issues you want to focus on.
Short term psychotherapy emphasizes immediate problem solving. The client and therapist set short term action goals to resolve concrete problems. These goals and strategies are constantly re-evaluated and changed if necessary. Just the routine of talking to a professional in a safe, confidential setting can be helpful. Short term psychotherapy can last anywhere from several sessions to up to one year.
In long term psychotherapy, more complex personality issues can be explored in depth. For example, you and the psychotherapist will look at past patterns of childhood and family behavior to see how these patterns of behavior repeat themselves negatively in your present relationships. Strategies can be set up to change behaviors with you and your partner. Increased awareness can lead to actions that reduce anxiety. Learning tools like setting boundaries, using effective communication skills and holding your own point of view enhance couple relationships and increase self esteem. Long term psychotherapy also incorporates concrete problem solving techniques. Long term psychotherapy can last anywhere from one year to longer depending on the client’s motivation.