What is Psychotherapy

Understanding what psychotherapy is can be a positive first step towards trying something that will help you live a happier life.

Psychotherapy, therapy for short, is based on a healing relationship between a therapist and client. It is a method of helping people deal with difficulties in their lives in order to improve health, happiness and productivity. This applies to people of all ages to explore issues in a safe and private environment. Therapy involves collaboration and an active effort. Creating change can be frightening but through dialogue that is supportive, non-judgmental and objective you can start to cope with feelings, thoughts and behavior patterns that contribute to your difficulties. You can learn to better understand yourself, define your wellness goals and develop skills to better cope with stress and build resilience.

There are no universal guidelines for the duration of therapy, it depends on each person’s needs, open communication and a collaborative approach. When trying to decide if therapy is right for you, consider the following questions:

  • Do you have a single concern that you would like to get some feedback on?
  • Have you noticed a pattern of problems or concerns that seems to keep coming up?
  • Are you typically satisfied with your life and relationships, and just looking for a sounding board?
  • Is it time to address previous trauma or family patterns that are keeping you from feeling good?

Therapy can also have inherent risks. Experiencing uncomfortable feelings, discussing unpleasant situations and/or aspects of your life are considered risks of therapy sessions. While it is generally expected that you will benefit from therapy, there may be periods of feeling worse before feeling better. Despite the risks, research shows that therapy has great benefits for people who go through the process.

People seek therapy for a range of reasons. The following are only some examples of why people may seek out a therapist:

  • depression
  • anxiety and panic attacks
  • increase well being
  • parenting
  • family and/or relationship conflict
  • unhelpful thinking styles
  • poor sleep due to excessive worry
  • difficulty making friends or to develop social skills
  • school based challenges
  • chronic health problems
  • life transitions (having a new baby, death, job change/loss, divorce etc.)
  • chronic stress or difficulty managing stress (work and personal life)
  • increasing coping skills such as organization, mindfulness, reducing flooding etc.
  • trauma
  • building positive relationship styles
  • self esteem
  • chronic mental illness
  • improving confidence

The Process

Clients will be asked to fill out a general health and wellness intake form to be used in the first consultation session. This session is a chance to get to know one another in order to begin building a trusting relationship, reviewing confidentiality and identifying some main goals. In the second session clinical impressions will be provided and in collaboration, a treatment plan will be developed. Subsequent sessions will be reviewed together on an ongoing basis based on client’s needs.

If you are seeking a qualified and experienced Psychotherapist on the Danforth or in the City of Toronto, please contact 416-461-8688.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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