Therapy and Expectations

Therapy can be a very beneficial experience. It involves an agreement between a client and a therapist. It provides an opportunity to resolve problems, to improve understanding of self, family, or work. As well, therapy can provide an opportunity to learn new skills and improve relationships.

No matter who referred you, your concerns and feelings are kept in strict confidence. The only times when confidentiality is altered is if there is likelihood of harm to self or others, by court subpoena, or disclosure of child abuse. Therapy is an active and co-operative process. With help you will learn to identify specific goals and objectives for change. We will work on these and related issues in our sessions. Between therapy sessions, it is expected that you will be reflecting on and practicing new skills in your everyday life. The results of these reflections and experiences are dealt with in the next session. Progress is dependent on your ability to engage in an open and honest discussion of your concerns.

If you are not truthful about your past behaviour or experiences, there is a high likelihood that therapy will not be successful. Honesty to yourself and to the therapy relationship is necessary for meaningful change. No matter how embarrassing the information you need to disclose, we have most likely heard similar concerns.

Therapy is not a situation for judgment, even though you may expect criticism. It is not a mind-game or a guessing game. It does require your active participation in connecting your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours aimed at helping you effect change. Similar to an athlete learning to improve his/her abilities, you have chosen a therapist as a coach to teach you and to challenge you to develop new skills. This training is meant to help you to improve, to support you, or to identify risks that you may encounter in the game of life.

Therapy is sometimes emotionally painful or frustrating. It can also be an opportunity to find humour and appreciation for what you may have endured. You have been referred or are requesting help because your pattern of managing issues in your life is not working effectively for you. It is our belief that fixing that pattern will bring about significant and lasting change.

Sessions are usually fifty (50) minutes. How often you meet and the length of therapy depends on the seriousness of your concerns and your ability to make changes. An estimated number of sessions that will be necessary can usually be provided after one or two sessions.