Affordable Counseling in Pasadena, CA
(626) 798-0915 | 867 E. Atchison Street, Pasadena, CA 91104

About Therapy

Is Therapy Right For Me?

Whether this is the first time you’ve considered therapy or you’ve seen a counselor in the past, committing to therapy is an important decision.  Here are some common questions people have about the nature and benefits of therapy:

Q:  When should I seek counseling?

A:  Counseling isn’t just for when life feels out of control.  It is also a preventative measure before things get overwhelming.  Therapists can help you think differently about your situation and find new ways to solve problems.  They can also make referrals to other helpful services.

Is therapy right for me?

Some of the signs that indicate that you might benefit from therapy include:

  • Feeling unhappy for no reason
  • Dissatisfaction with your life
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Difficulty setting or reaching your goals
  • Being tired for no reason
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Acting in ways that you don’t like or get you into trouble
  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  • Relationship problems
  • Having trouble at work
  • Thinking about death a lot or thinking of hurting yourself

Q:  Why should I pay to talk to a therapist when I can talk to my friends for free?

A:  Friends are an excellent source of support, but there are some things a therapist can do that a friend cannot.  Therapists are trained and experienced in helping people understand their feelings and motivations, solve interpersonal issues, establish new thought patterns, make changes in their behavior, and solve interpersonal issues.  Therapists have worked with numerous clients with struggles similar to your own.  Another difference is that , with therapy, you also have the right to confidentiality.  This means your therapist won’t be sharing what you tell them with anyone else in your life.

Q:  Therapy sounds like a lot of talking.  Is that really going to help?

A:  Therapy has been called the “talking cure” for over a century, but it’s also much more than that.  Therapists can be there to support and guide you, as well as direct you to other resources and services.  They can help you learn new skills and think differently about your struggles.  For example, if you have a hard time meeting friends, they can help you practice ways to start talking with people.  If you struggle with making decisions, your therapist can help you identify where you are stuck and what may be holding you back, so that you can begin to make sense of things and take action.

Q:  Will a therapist just tell me what to do?

A:  No, therapists won’t tell you what to do.  Their role is to help you see the bigger picture and evaluate your options.  They help you explore your values and offer feedback, but the decision is always yours.

Q:  What am I supposed to talk about?

A:  Therapy is a unique relationship because it is both professional and deeply personal.  Therapists are people who enjoy helping their clients through the process of exploring their life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.  Sometimes you’ll have a lot to say and they will mostly listen.  Other times, they may share some insights or new tools for you to try.  Other times you may just sit together quietly.  All of these are okay. Therapy is a dynamic relationship that is tailored to each person’s individual needs.

Q:  What if I feel nervous/anxious at my first session?  Did I choose the wrong therapist?

A:  Nervousness can sometimes be misinterpreted by clients as a sign that they are seeing the wrong therapist.  The truth is — entering therapy for the first time is likely to cause a certain amount of anxiousness because you are opening up to a stranger and sharing matters dear to your heart.  The good news is that these feelings tend to wane after your first couple of sessions, as you become more acquainted with your therapist and the process of therapy.

Q:  How do I choose a therapist that is right for me?

A:  Because therapy is a very personal experience, we feel it is important that you feel comfortable with the therapist you work with.  To ensure you are matched well with a therapist, we conduct a brief telephone intake before your first session to assess your current therapeutic needs, preferences, and availability.  If, after your first few sessions, you don’t feel that the therapist is a good fit for you, please let your therapist (or the Center Director) know and they will help you get re-assigned to another therapist.

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