What Is Really Involved in Therapy?

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Taking that first step to attend therapy can be scary. Many people struggle with anxiety and feelings of uncertainty because they don’t know what to expect. 

When you make an eye appointment you expect the doctor to shine lights in your eyes and make you stare through one of those funny binocular-type machines. They may even dilate them. When you schedule a tune-up for your car, you expect them to check things out and make any necessary repairs. Even a regular doctor’s appointment has some degree of certainty—they will check your blood pressure, your weight, talk to you about cholesterol levels. 

But, therapy is different. It is common for people to question what might happen during their session. How will it take place? Will you just talk? What might come up? And, how do you know if you should attend therapy at all? All the misconceptions surrounding therapy can make it difficult for people to make the decision to attend that first appointment. How do they know if it will really help? 

So, let’s talk. 

What is really involved in therapy?

Most therapy sessions revolve around problem-solving any number of issues — big or small. Clients typically come into the office, take a seat on the comfy couch, and talk about what is going on in their lives. Depending on the reason for attending therapy this might mean discussing parenting concerns, career changes, relationship issues, general unhappiness, feeling overwhelmed or stressed, or a particular experience that is difficult to shake. The truth is therapy is a chance to talk about anything that is ailing you, free of judgment. 

The therapist will then try to help you, the client, to figure out things you can do to make things better. Maybe it is a healthier way to release stress, setting boundaries with family members, or changes in your lifestyle, to name a few. The therapist isn’t going to tell you what to do or how to live your life but rather offer a new perspective, guidance, and tools to help you on a path to the life you want. 

That being said, if there are certain things you don’t want to talk about — you don’t have to. (But, a strong desire to avoid talking about something might make it a good reason to bring it up. Regardless, the choice is yours.) Therapy is all about making the client comfortable and offering a safe place to grow and heal. It might take a few sessions for a client to feel willing to open up. And, therapists understand this. It is why we are trained to ask questions that might help to direct your thoughts and give you clarity. 

Different types of therapy

Depending on your needs there are different types of therapy—individual, couples, family, group, etc. There are also different approaches to treatment. 

Our psychologists at Wellness Psychological Services use a variety of therapy styles, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). 

CBT is the process of changing people’s attitudes and ultimately their unhealthy behaviors by focusing on thoughts, images, beliefs, and attitudes held within. For example, if you have a perception or belief that you “don’t deserve to be loved” then that might translate into unhealthy or risky behavior. By learning to love yourself and changing that internal dialogue your behavior can follow. 

ACT involves helping clients come face-to-face with unpleasant feelings, rather than avoiding them, and accepting that they are appropriate responses to certain situations. It is the process of accepting issues in your life and committing to making changes, regardless of how you feel about them. For example, your spouse cheated on you and you are so angry and hurt that you are refusing to move forward. You are stuck dwelling on the past or ruminating over what happened. ACT helps you to accept that those things happened, you don’t feel good about them, but you can move forward to a healthier, happier existence. 

These are just a few examples. We also incorporate mindfulness, behavioral, and preventative strategy approaches. It all depends on what works for you and your therapist. For more information, visit our website.

The bottom line

Therapy can have big benefits for your life. We all struggle with our own things—whether it be everyday stressors, mental illness challenges, or life after a traumatic experience. Therapy doesn’t need to be scary. Finding a therapist you connect with and feel comfortable with is key. We can help. 

The psychologists at Wellness Psychological Services are uniquely and expertly specialized in helping you create a healthier environment for yourself. We welcome the chance to discuss an individualized plan to meet your needs. Contact us for an appointment anytime.

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205 S. Hoover Blvd. Ste 202
Tampa, FL 33609

admin@wellnesspsychservices.com
(813) 563-1155

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