People usually come to therapy in crisis. Something happened, it’s causing them stress, and they want it to stop — NOW! Perhaps they lost their job, their significant other is having an affair, they can’t organize themselves to get school work completed; they are so anxious they have no friends. Whatever it is, it’s gotten to the breaking point. They have probably talked to their friends about it. . . maybe their family. They may have gone to their clergy. Nothing seems to be helping. So, they make the decision to call a therapist for help.
The first phase of therapy is the crisis phase. We explore what is happening to find out what isn’t working. We work to develop coping skills to calm the storm. Change begins to happen. People begin to feel better. Oftentimes, this is when they leave therapy, prematurely.
The second phase of therapy is the character work, the deep work. At this phase of therapy, we have been working together for several months. You find that you can trust me to maintain your confidentiality. You feel safer to begin talking about the things that you haven’t told anyone before, the ways that you feel shame, guilt, etc. Instead of problem-solving and managing crises, we look for the root causes of problems. How did you become the person you are today? What works? What doesn’t? You take the risk to lay your cards on the table. . . what you are thinking, how you are feeling both inside yourself and with me. Although this work is challenging, the result is someone who expresses themselves authentically, lives more spontaneously, and enjoys life more fully.