Common Questions

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in understanding how medications for mood disorders interact with the body and other medications you may be taking. Some psychiatrists may provide occasional therapy but they primarily provide medication. Psychologists, on the other hand, are doctors who specialize in understanding mental health. They provide counseling. However, they do not prescribe medication.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be useful to treat symptoms. However, counseling is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals. Often, both medication and counseling are needed to help you reach your mental health goals as quickly and effectively as possible.

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.

What’s the difference between talking to a therapist or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way-- teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

How does therapy work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs

How long will I be in counseling?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. The truth is, every person's circumstances are unique. You bring a unique set of past experiences, strengths and concerns when you enter counseling.  Therefore, the length of time therapy can take varies.  Some factors that can impact how long you'll be in counseling include your goals, your motivation, commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What should I do?

We are so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your counseling sessions. Your active participation and dedication is important. After all, you typically only come to therapy once a week. Therefore, it's the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.