“There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our
problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”
– Fred Rogers
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. Having pain doesn’t make us weak; it makes us human. And as humans, we all need support from others. We are not wired to do this life alone! Let us help. At True North our aim to help you learn new ways of navigating the inevitable pain that visits us all, so that struggle and suffering no longer dominate your life.
How do I know if I need psychotherapy?
Entering therapy is always a personal decision. If you think it might help to have a caring and knowledgeable person to talk to about a problem, are feeling stuck, or just don’t know what to do to deal with your current situation, therapy is probably worth considering. Paradoxically, when we’re most in need of support, we are least likely to feel capable of doing what’s needed to take care of ourselves. Many people believe that they must be desperate in order to get help, rather than moved by a desire to grow and flourish. For the most part, however, the choice to begin psychotherapy, rather than coming from need, comes from some knowledge that things can be different.
What can I expect?
When you first call or meet with your therapist, you can expect to have a variety of feelings, including some anxiety, perhaps some hope and probably some skepticism. You can expect that no matter how long psychotherapy lasts, you will be building a relationship that is focused on your needs. Psychotherapy is evocative and interesting. It can be very hard work, but it can also be calming, exhilarating, joyful, maddening, saddening, frustrating, anxiety-provoking, and exciting. It is not magic, or mystical, though it can feel that way. And it’s not easy, though we’d like it to be. Change is rarely easy. Expect the unexpected, and be open to possibilities.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together 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.
How long will it take?
That depends on several factors, including what you want to get out of therapy, and how hard you are willing to work to get what you want. Because psychotherapy is a tool, how you make use of it will shape how useful it is. And of course, we all learn and change at different speeds. Some situations may require a brief course of therapy, while other, more complex situations will take time to untangle. Generally speaking, therapy lasts for however long it is useful, which can be anywhere from a few sessions to several years. At True North, we work collaboratively with you and encourage you to discuss these treatment planning questions together with your therapist.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
We’re so glad you’re committed to getting the most out of this work. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for an hour a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship and would like to be seen as a couple, we would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, your therapist could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.