What Is Therapy?

Everyone seems to have a different definition or experience of what happens in therapy. There have been plenty of television shows that try to give us a peek into what happens in a session. Often times therapy, especially with adults, looks like a conversation. Therapy with children may look different as kids process the world in a different way. Many times, kids need alternative ways of expressing their emotions including play, movement, and art.

How does therapy help? Therapy can help you cope with feelings and symptoms, and change behavior patterns that may contribute to your illness. Talk therapy is not just “talking about your problems”; it is also working toward solutions. You might be encouraged to look at things in a different way or learn new ways to react to events or people. You and your psychologist may also work to prevent problematic situations or mood states.

How do I know if I need therapy? Our philosophy is that anyone can benefit from therapy. If you have noticed some of the following things in your own life, it might be a good time to consult with a psychologist or counselor:

  • Feeling sad, anxious, upset or some other unpleasant emotion and it lasts too long.
  • Not enjoying life and don’t know what to do.
  • Keep repeating the same patterns with relationships, jobs, school or other important parts of your life.
  • Struggling to change but keep spinning your wheels.
  • Not able to stick to and achieve goals in life.

How fast does it work? It is difficult to estimate how quickly someone will feel better or see life improvements after starting therapy because of individual differences in the presenting issue, current support systems, personal strengths and resources, etc. Unfortunately there is no magic technique or pill to fix things immediately. This is an important topic to discuss with your therapist during your first visit or two.

What’s the first step? You have already taken it—deciding that it is time to make your life better. Now, just call or email Compass Counseling & Psychology Services and we will guide you from here.