:: Are you looking for Psychotherapy in the East Bay, San Francisco and North Bay Area (Napa, Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield), Feminist Therapy Connection therapists can help you. We will really listen, answer your questions about psychotherapy and counseling, and help you connect with a psychotherapist.
What is Psychotherapy? How Can Counseling Help?
There are many ways to find help and support when you need it: You can seek help from friends or trusted family members, consult your medical doctor, confer with spiritual leaders, or connect with community and self-help groups, such as 12-Step programs. Seeking information on-line, listening to “Ted Talks”, and from self-help books can also provide comfort and inspire emotional growth. Beginning psychotherapy with a trained professional is another option to help with a range of personal, couple and family relationship troubles and concerns.
Psychotherapy or counseling is a term used interchangeably to describe this unique, collaborative relationship between a client, who requests the consultation, and a psychotherapist, who offers empathy, professional knowledge and technical skill. The first goal is to create a comfortable, accepting environment in which you feel safe to speak frankly about any concern.
Your Relationship with Your Psychotherapist is Unique..
When you consult a psychotherapist, the relationship and assistance you receive is unique and unlike any other in your life. While therapy can be supportive and comforting, it is neither advice nor reassurance. Specialized listening, communication and problem-solving techniques differentiate this relationship from all other relationships in your life. This special relationship is formed for the expressed purpose and in the service of meeting your therapy needs and goals. Strict professional standards and scope of practice guidelines inform what is appropriate and therapeutic. Licensed psychotherapists must adhere to a code of ethics, and charge a fee for their professional services.
Clients may consult for help with present and future planning and decision-making at important turning points, such as choosing a career path, getting married or divorced, or for help managing relationship problems, significant losses or deaths in the family. Talking confidentially with a trained listener and compassionate witness enables you to move beyond the imprint of unsatisfying and painful experiences. You begin to understand meanings, motivations and past patterns that are affecting your life now. Therapy can open the door to feeling empowered to make better choices and desired improvements in your life, and to work through life’s expected and unexpected challenges with greater ease and comfort.
How Does Psychotherapy Work?
Psychotherapy work—like any good narrative– has a beginning, a middle and an ending. Each phase of therapy has a different purpose, meaning and challenge. In the initial stage of the work, you and your therapist must forge a working relationship in which your therapist offers empathy and clinical skill to help you identify and talk about problems and concerns in an open and honest manner.
Progress depends on the therapist’s ability to be respectful, non-judgmental, trustworthy and skillful. The client must be willing to speak freely, make a commitment to collaborate and reflect on internal and external factors that are contributing to problems. Motivation to make necessary changes toward meeting therapy needs and goals are important. The client must feel heard, understood and helped. The time and money spent for the psychotherapy must feel beneficial and worthwhile.
Discomfort and resistance at various points in the therapy are to be expected, especially when sensitive material is revealed. Even in the best of therapeutic relationships, the therapist’s response may not meet with your expectations and feel disappointing. Sometimes a client and therapist may feel stuck and that no progress is being made. The best way to manage these challenges, empathic failures and ruptures is to speak about them openly and honestly with your therapist. Quite often a door is opened that can prove very beneficial once the obstacles are better understood and managed.