Why Should I See A Therapist?
There are some situations in life that can be hard to navigate alone. During these times, research shows that speaking with a professional can greatly reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief, and stress. A therapist offers unbiased support, reflection, and guidance. Rooted in psychological expertise, a therapist does not offer "advice" based on his/her own views and filters, but rather, works with you to uncover the wisdom and knowledge that you inherently have (but are, perhaps, disconnected from). This type of outside perspective, unconditional compassion, and well-trained expertise can help you to process whatever it is you are going through, and gain new tools and resources to support yourself along the way.
Read this article for more information on how to know if you should see a therapist.
What Can I Expect From My Therapist?
Respect. Non-judgment. Compassion. Genuine Curiosity. Presence. Safety. Confidentiality.
If at any point you do not feel these things coming from your therapist, please speak up! It is your right as a client to feel supported and valued in this process. Fear of judgment, feeling as if you are not being heard, and feeling unsafe can hinder progress, so let your therapist know if you feel uneasy. It may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it can be a great opportunity to gain empowerment and experience conflict in a new, safe and healthy way.
What Can I Expect From This Process?
There is no "right" or "wrong" way to be in therapy. The only thing required of you, as the client, is that you show up. You have invested in this process, and you will get from it what you put into it.
Clients often say, "I don't want to come to therapy today, I'm a mess." Or, "I really didn't want to show up today. Things are just too hard right now." It's important to remember that these are the very times that you SHOULD come to therapy. You don't have to be a "mess" alone. This process is about showing up for yourself, again and again.
So where do you begin? As the infinitely wise author, Cheryl Strayed, once wrote, "Let yourself be gutted. Start there."
Therapy is a process, not a quick-fix. It is not linear, and it can often feel as if you are going backwards before you move forward. It helps if you can begin to expand your definition of progress. Progress, in therapy, is not about achieving perceived results, "fixing" the problem, or "fixing" yourself. Therapy is the process of gaining awareness about how you relate to your problems, and how you relate to yourself. This awareness, alone, often breeds action.
Therapy can look like an exchange of ideas, an in-depth conversation, a replay of a fight you had last week with your partner, a time to cry, a time to laugh, a time to reflect on your human experience and find ways to become more present to that experience regardless of how it "feels" in the moment.
You may leave a session feeling on top of the world and ready to conquer that big proposal that is due next week. Then, the next week you may leave a session feeling as though your whole inside was left on the floor of your therapist's office. All of this is normal, and all of this is a part of this crazy process we call self-exploration, empowerment, and healing.
Ok, You've Persuaded Me! Now What?
Congratulations! You are now taking a step in the direction of YOU. Unfortunately, asking for help still has a stigma attached to it, but it is in our vulnerability that we have access to our strength. By choosing to see a therapist you are choosing to break free of the chains that bind you in unhealthy patterns, and are bravely stepping inside of yourself to create positive change.
Your mission now, should you choose to accept it, is to find a therapist with whom you feel safe and accepted, and set up an initial consultation or appointment. See the "Connect" page on this website for more information on how to reach Ryan. She will then guide you through the next steps.
Let's Talk Logistics: What, When, Where, How…?
Visit the Location + Fees page of this website to learn more about Ryan's centrally located office and reasonable rates. Ryan works M-Th, with some evening hours available.
Many clients wonder how often they should schedule appointments. There is no right answer to this question, as it is entirely dependent on each individual person. Ryan does, however, typically recommend coming once a week for the first few weeks so that momentum can build. Clients often find that beginning with a biweekly schedule makes it challenging for them to get into the groove of the process. Contact Ryan for more information on finding the right session schedule for you.