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When Considering Psychotherapy

“The unexamined Life is not worth living.” -Socrates

When Socrates wrote this famous statement, psychotherapy wasn’t an option. However, examining one’s life is perhaps the most important exploration left for man to discover. Man has explored the earth and the heavens, but little is know about the interior workings of the human soul.

Psychotherapy can be taken to extremes. Woody Allen has made a profitable career joking about such excess. In one of his movies he complained about his therapist not being effective, and he said he would give him another six years to see if anything would get better. However, the time of excessive psychotherapy sessions has past. Clients now seek solution-oriented therapy where a problem is presented and a solution is sort. Such therapy is called brief therapy, meaning that it lasts from five to twenty sessions over a six to twelve month time period.

Therapy is a place to explore your feelings and your life’s circumstances. In this exploration, the therapist is not an expert who knows what you should do with your life, rather they are a safe and confidential place for you to go to discover how you feel and what you can do about these feelings.

The most important qualities you need to look for in choosing a therapist is the openness and freedom you feel in talking with them. If you feel restrained or uneasy, perhaps they are the wrong therapist for you. Trust your feelings. If it isn’t working for you, find another therapist. There will be times when you will not like what you are having to examine in your sessions, however a good therapist is like a good couch, you must trust they are working for your best interests, even if they are pushing your boundaries. Growth is often uncomfortable, but you need to trust the coach, but that trust needs to be well established before you get into issues that are extremely painful.

Psychotherapy is a service that costs money. Be certain you know exactly what your sessions will cost. Once you have booked a therapy session that time has been sold to you and you will be responsible to pay if you miss your session or don’t give 24-hour notice of a change. The therapist is a trained professional and is probably making no more than the plumber or electrician who works on your house even though they have many years of training before they are licensed. Most therapists will reduce their fee if you have difficulty paying their full fee. Ask for a discount if you really need it, but bargaining for a reduced fee when you don’t need one, is not really in your best interest.

Always talk with the therapist about what they can do to help you solve your issues. This interviewing the therapist can save you unnecessary discomfort if you find the therapist is not really the one you need. No therapist is good for all, so interview the therapist you need before paying for your first session.

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