FAQs about counseling, therapy, psychotherapy, and coaching in Wake Forest, NC
Wake Forest is a relatively small, but a booming town conveniently located just north of Raleigh and Durham. More and more families, young and old, are moving here from all parts of the country to call Wake Forest their new home.
Despite the fact that Wake Forest is still a small town, it’s residents are not protected against today’s numerous life stressors that negatively impact their mental and physical health. Life stressors that unfortunately lead to things like anxiety, depression, and marriage/relationship problems to name a few. So people are looking for help in order to feel happy again. Including you.
You read my previous blog post on how to find a therapist in Wake Forest, NC and have a list with a few names in front of you that seem nice and knowledgeable enough. However, you probably have a ton of questions before you feel ready to make that call-that is completely normal. Even if you have been to therapy before, you might have new questions that were not important to you, say, two years ago. As we grow, mature, and evolve, so do our relationships, values, questions and concerns.
To help you clarify some of the myths about therapy and to provide you with some helpful information to get started, I have created a list of 4 most common questions that clients ask me when they first call for a phone consultation or come to the first session. I also have videos where I talk about what to expect during your first consultation call and your first therapy session if you are interested.
Question # 1: How does therapy work?
Even though some of my clients have been to therapy and counseling when they were children, they do not always know what exactly happens during a therapy session as an adult. How does it work? Will my therapist give me an advice on what I should do? Will I have homework in between sessions? How often should I come see her/him? What type of therapy is best for me? Am I that damaged to be seeing a shrink?
So, let me help and try breaking the whole psychotherapy process down.
Anyone can benefit from therapy
You don’t have to be crazy to see a psychologist, therapist, coach, or counselor. We all have our own demons we struggle with and we all have room for improvement, young or old. Therapy with the right clinician can be an amazing experience for you.
Different therapists and counselors have different expertise
Do your research and know yourself well. Do not see a generalist, especially if you are struggling with something like eating disorders, trauma related symptoms, or marital problems. Just like you wouldn’t go to your primary care physician for a hip replacement. Or a child birth.
Good therapist will never tell you what to do
Therapists’ job is to help you explore all the answers within yourself, evaluate the pros and cons, and reconnect you with your important values. Because my values and my life are different from yours, my perspective and opinions are also different. I will be doing you a disservice by taking a shortcut and giving you the answers-my answers, by the way, not yours.
Start therapy weekly and then re-evaluate in 10 sessions
Most of my clients start therapy weekly, and then around sessions 8-10 we have another (longer) conversation about what is working, how is it working, and whether we need to make any clinical or scheduling changes. Because I do not provide short term therapy (and do not trust a quick 3 month change), most clients will continue weekly for another 30 sessions or longer. Some will experience a big relief and decide that bi-weekly sessions work best for them.
Ask your therapist for homework if need it
Just like with everything else, different therapists have different opinions about giving homework to their clients. Some love it, some hate it. But guess what? The beauty of therapy is that it is not about what I like, as a therapist. The beauty of therapy is that it is about what works best for the client. So if you are my client who comes to the first therapy session and tells me that you like structure and think that homework will help you feel more productive and organized, guess what? I am going to give you darn homework. Even if I don’t like it.
Question # 2: Do you offer virtual sessions?
A lot of clients I work with have very busy schedules. And who doesn’t, really? So, having an option for a safe and secure online counseling from the comfort of your own home comes very handy. More and more therapists offer this option today. Most of my clients like to do a hybrid between traditional in-office and online sessions. Especially when their work or life circumstances require them to travel often, when weather gets really bad during the winter, or when they are simply not feeling well.
Question # 3: How many sessions will I need to have?
Again, this depends. Some therapists like to do long term therapy that can last several years and others prefer short-term therapy that lasts between 8-10 sessions. Of course, it also depends on the counselor’s or therapists’ professional training. Like I mentioned in the first question, I do not like or provide a short term therapy. Which means that many of my clients stay between 25-40 sessions. Many stay much longer than that. This is a good question to ask your prospective therapist and also to discuss the answer and see if this will work for you. I know that many people today are looking for a quick fix (we have all been conditioned for immediate gratification), but the quick fix rarely works in therapy world.
Question # 4: Will I ever get better?
A lot of times people decide to seek therapy when they are going through some kind of a personal crisis, which makes them feel really miserable. So, naturally, clients ask therapists, psychologists, and counselors if and when they will get better with treatment. And the answer is always-yes, you WILL get better! I am not going to lie and say that it will be easy and that time will heal your pain on its own. Which is simply not true. Just like with everything worth having, your mental health and your relationships require some effort and attention. So, you will be able to see great results if you are willing to invest and commit to the therapy process.
I hope this helps you find the right therapist in Wake Forest, North Carolina. If you are still feeling stuck, feel free to call me at (703) 347-3200 for a free 15 minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to hear about what is happening and help direct you to the right person. If you are looking for help with your relationships or marriage, you can read more about how I can help here.