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How Does Therapy Work?

As our collective consciousness grows, we have seen an incredible uptick in people utilizing mental health resources, including therapy. Yet, we also realize that there is still a large gap of misinformation and misunderstanding about therapy. There are a variety of reasons as to why therapy may be helpful for you. If you’re reading this, then it’s likely that you are already curious if you may benefit from seeking therapy. People utilize therapy for a multitude of reasons. Some reasons someone may seek therapy include:

  • Experiencing loss of any sort

  • A prolonged sense of overwhelm

  • Mental health struggles such as anxiety or depression

  • Coping with other illnesses, substance abuse or prolonged habits

  • Feelings of debilitation

This list is a short summarization of potential needs a therapist can help support you through.

There are many other reasons as to why someone may decide to go to therapy.

Okay, but how does therapy really work anyway? How do you even describe what therapy is? How do I know I need therapy?

These are all valid and great questions, and we are here to help answer them for you! Let’s get started.

What exactly is therapy?

Psychotherapy–therapy of –is the term used to describe the process of using psychological methods to help anyone who may need ongoing support. With regular therapeutic sessions, we are able to provide specific support that ultimately helps the individual/couple/group, increase happiness, change behaviors or overcome problems.

A psychologist or a therapist is someone who is a certified professional trained to help you. By using scientifically backed techniques, a therapist can guide you towards effective tools that will help you develop healthier habits. Some of these techniques include CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), interpersonal therapy, or other types of talk therapy.

Therapy is a collaborative relationship between the professional and those who are seeking their guidance. Remember that a therapist is there to provide a supportive environment. One of the best benefits of therapy is having a space that is objective, nonjudgmental, and neutral. Working with a therapist gives you the opportunity to recognize the patterns in your life that need to change in order to improve your life, however that may look for you.

Not only will you gain clarity and awareness, but working with a therapist will also strengthen your resilience. You will gain new skills and benefit from developing sustainable coping skills and habits which will increase your overall state of wellbeing.

When is it time to consider therapy?

As we mentioned before, there are many reasons it may benefit you to consider therapy. However, we understand how intimidating it can feel to take this next step in seeking help through therapy. There are still many misconceptions about therapy and how therapy works. The truth is that everyone can benefit from therapy. Think of how we care for our physical body. We take care of our basic needs every day. Sometimes our bodies get sick, and we simply just need rest. Other times, we need a doctor to help us. We also do preventative care for our bodies. This may be through lifestyle habits such as how we eat or exercise. We even try to go to the doctor once a year, just to make sure there’s not something wrong in our bodies that we can’t see or may not know about yet. Therapy can be preventative care and can also help you to uncover things that may be affecting you without you potentially even knowing about it. Our minds need check-ins, too!

Most importantly, if you find any habits may be causing harm to yourself or others, in any capacity, it is worth considering how working with a therapist can help to step away from harmful behaviors. Taking the step towards receiving help and support is a kindness to yourself and others in your life. When we include the support of a mental health professional in our lives, all areas of our lives have the potential to be impacted for the better.

What happens once I decide I want to seek therapy?

First, yay! Congrats! What an exciting moment! In the midst of potential overwhelm of next steps, we encourage you to celebrate taking care of you by choosing to seek therapy. Luckily, we’ve broken down how to choose the right therapist. One thing you may want to consider is deciding if you want a specific type of therapeutic method. Each therapist has a unique way of integrating talk therapy and scientifically backed methods of psychotherapy. Most therapists are happy to provide a free phone call or e-mail exchange before meeting in hopes of ensuring a right fit prior to any monetary expenses.

If you’re insured, some therapists work with insurance companies. Your insurance company will likely have a list of some therapists who are in the network. You can also ask individual therapists or offices if they take/accept insurance. Some therapists won’t work directly with insurance companies but can provide superbills for reimbursement, should you decide to prefer that. It is also possible to find therapists who offer sliding scale pay based on financial needs.

Once you’ve found a potential therapist, you’ll schedule your first session. In your first few sessions, you’ll likely discuss how you’d like to move forward. This will include potential plans for therapeutic needs, as well as practicalities such as scheduling and planning. Remember, it is important to feel a trustworthy connection with your potential therapist as this is an intimate relationship. This is someone you will want to feel a sense of confidence and safety with. Therapy is vulnerable. Working with a therapist you feel comfortable with helps bridge the space between that vulnerability, processing the information, and working towards whatever you may need.

Still have questions as to how therapy works? Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any help you may need. We would be honored to assist you along your journey to wellness.


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