If you are thinking about coming to therapy, you're probably wondering if this is the right thing for you to do. And if it is what you want to do, who to see for it. These are both important and difficult questions.
Getting into therapy is difficult partly because of the many misunderstandings people have about this process. It is important to get clarification about what therapy really is and to re-evaluate what it "means about you."
Here are some alternate ways to think about your concerns about psychotherapy:
"It has been such a relief to be introduced to a way of seeing my life from a kinder point of view and also in a more realistic and accepting way.
"The collaboration with Marcia is very important to me. Through my work with her I am learning to apply a better perspective to my work, as well as with peers, colleagues, my partner, and my family."
—A single woman in her 30's
Our Answer: Of course, nobody wants to think of themselves as weak. We all know that strong, deserving people are supposed to "solve their own problems!"
Unfortunately, solving our own problems is something of a myth—especially when it comes to problems that hinge on our basic beliefs about life, relationships, love, and our own self-worth and competency.
Therapy is about learning. Far from implying weakness, therapy requires strength, intelligence, perseverance, open-mindedness, curiosity, and a willingness to question assumptions that you—and the rest of the world—take for granted. Therapy is a process for change, not a diagnosis or judgment.
Our Answer: No. But everybody seems to have some psychological pain caused by misconceptions and misbeliefs about themselves and other people. Whether we realize it or not, this pain squelches our self worth, limits our empathy, narrows our viewpoint, and gives rise to behaviors that hurt or bother other people.
By attending therapy, you elect to learn, change, and grow. You reduce your pain and increase your sense of strength. Change-focused, dynamic psychotherapy—as a collaborative process—helps you emerge from these false beliefs and self-limiting behaviors while acquiring a more accurate point of view about yourself and others.
Our Answer: The short answer is: we can't. Life is too complex for one person to be able to solve another's problems. Therapy operates on a different premise. It's a collaborative process where you, as our therapy student, are heavily involved in the process of improving your own mental health.
The idea that therapists hold great power is one of the biggest myths about therapy. The real power lies in you and your therapist teaming up to explore your difficulties in life and putting your heads, experience, knowledge, and education together toward a greater understanding of reality. That's not magic—but it is a potent experience that lays the groundwork for healthy, satisfying relationships in all other areas of your life.
Our Answer: Not exclusively. In therapy it's also important to discuss your day-to-day life as well as your goals. We explore your difficulties and also look at the strengths you use to be successful.
When we do talk about the past, it is to give perspective and context to why you are hurting, what you believe, and how you interact with others. It also helps you have compassion for yourself and your difficulties as well as patience for the change process itself. As Churchill said: "Those who fail to understand the past are condemned to repeat it." And we wouldn't want that to happen to you.
Our Answer: Electing to do therapy long-term or short-term depends on your goals. Most therapists focus on support, or "symptom management." We offer support and help you manage your symptoms, but we go further. Our goal is to help you change so that your depression, anxiety, marital problems, career difficulties, etc., are less likely to recur.
In addition, it took a long time to develop your difficulties. It takes a while to learn to get a handle on them. Psychological issues are complex, and we all resist change. So, contrary to popular belief, realistically, therapy is neither quick nor easy—if your goal is to make substantive change in your quality of life—but it is effective with a good therapist-student team.
And it doesn't take forever to begin to make important changes.
Our Answer: Each therapy session is a focused conversation about your challenges in life. We both talk, listen, and ask questions. At Collaborative Psychotherapy, you don't get the silent treatment—you get interactive therapy.
Therapy is a relationship with somebody who cares about you and takes an interest in your health and happiness. Your therapist is your ally. He or she helps you have perspective on difficulties and possibilities that are hard to tackle alone.
|1675 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
|1695 North Shore Road #1
Revere, MA 02151