Frequently Asked Questions

If you have not previously participated in psychotherapy (also called “therapy”), you may have questions about what it is, how it works, or when and whom it can help. You may have heard that therapy is for people who are “crazy”, “mentally ill”, or “unbalanced” in some way. In truth, therapy can be useful for anyone, at the right time. Hopefully, some of the following questions and responses will help you determine if therapy could be helpful for you at this time. If so, please give me a call if you would like to schedule a free telephone interview.

Frequently Asked Questions about Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions about EMDR

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a process of growth, change, and healing.  It takes place within a relationship where clients can express their entire selves,  perspectives and feelings; learn to understand, and possibly change their emotional and behavioral responses; and/or increase their self-awareness. Psychotherapy can also help relieve emotional distress. Therapy produces changes in one’s life, but not because of advice the psychotherapist gives. Instead, this change occurs because of time together exploring emotions and thoughts; time spent candidly talking without judgment; and exchanging ideas about how to make things better.  It is not a magic pill or a quick fix for problems.  It can be a place for support and for finding new ways through life’s challenges, especially when the old familiar ways have failed to bring comfort or achieve the goals you desire.

Return to Top

How Does it Work?

Therapy takes place within the context of a unique relationship.  Within limits as proscribed by California law, everything that takes place within a therapy relationship is confidential.

In therapy, your interests, needs, and welfare always come first. The therapist’s role is to help focus on understanding you; and only brings his or her own feelings and experiences into the situation when it serves the client’s goals. In this way and others, therapy is more structured and less mutual than a friendship.  The structure usually includes a regular weekly meeting time that is uninterrupted and devoted only to matters concerning your psychological health and adjustment.

An adult client usually talks in therapy, but may also use art, sand work or other medium to express him- or herself.  Therapy with children uses their language of play.  Whatever the medium, therapy is a combination of art and science.  The science is the therapist’s application of training, to help the client identify what factors may be contributing to the problem or discomfort they are experiencing, and to help identify possible alternatives or solutions.  The art includes the therapist’s application of compassion and thoroughness, to understand and honor the inner world of each client, applying both intuitive skills and wisdom appropriately during this process.