How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapy can provide support, enhance problem-solving skills, and coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, self esteem issues and creative blocks. Counselors can be a tremendous asset to improving personal growth, parenting skills, interpersonal relationships, marriage or family concerns, and dealing with the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or help you find a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Feeling supported and understood in a warm and non-judgmental environment
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and life purpose
  • Developing skills to improve your relationships like communications and listening skills
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Changing negative beliefs to more positive thoughts about yourself and the world around you
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
  • Learning to make positive changes in order to attract positivity and prosperity in your life
  • Evolve your consciousness to find joy beyond the mind
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. The therapist will meet you where you are in your unique struggle, while strengthening skills that you already mastered. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face so you can be happy and lead a meaningful and productive life, whatever that means for you personally.

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (divorce, new job, a loss etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts or creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with coping skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.  In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make positive changes in their lives.

What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. The therapist can help you connect with your inner compass by guided meditations, hypnosis and progressive relaxation techniques. The source of the reason you came to therapy can be uncovered. In a suggestible state, subconscious negative beliefs can be examined and reprogrammed. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly) and evaluate and adjust frequency along the way.

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in the therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting or practicing particular behaviors, repeating positive affirmations or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?

It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of the distress and the behavior patterns that curb the progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Talking with your medical doctor can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. In other cases, therapy in combination with more natural solutions like aromatherapy is effective.

Do you take insurance, and do you offer discounts?

No, I don’t take insurance. I realize that many people are negatively affected by the current Covid-19 crisis and therefore I am willing to work with you, if needed, by providing a discount when you purchase a therapy package and pay in advance for several sessions.

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is not discussed outside the (virtual) therapist’s office with some exceptions, for example to avoid pertinent danger. Every therapist provides a written copy of their confidentiality disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”.  Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Psychiatrist, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

State law and professional ethics requires therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

  • Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
  • If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
  • A receipt of a valid court order
Do I need hypnotherapy?

If you have nervous symptoms such as tension, depression, fears, fatigue, and other physical complaints for which your doctor finds no physical basis; if you find it difficult to get along in your work, or in your relationships with people; if you have a school-, sex-, or marital- problem; or if you merely feel irritable, or unhappy, and believe you are not getting the most out of life, hypnotherapy may be beneficial to you.

How does hypnotherapy work?

Nervous symptoms and unwarranted unhappiness are the product of inner emotional conflicts. In hypnotherapy you are helped to understand your conflicts. In this way it is possible for you to do something constructive about solving them.

Can physical symptoms be caused by emotion?

Many physical symptoms are psychosomatic in nature which means that they have an emotional or nervous basis. When you come to think of it, it is not really so strange that emotional strain or worry should produce physical symptoms. After all, every organ in your body is connected with your brain by nerve channels; and so it is logical that when your nervous system is upset by some crisis or conflict, you may feel the effects in various organs of the body.

If I cannot solve my personal problems without help, does that mean that I have a weak will or am on the way to a mental breakdown?

No. Even if you have no serious symptoms it can be difficult to work out emotional problems by yourself because you may be too close to them and may not be able to see them clearly. More and more people, even those with a great deal of psychological knowledge, are seeking help these days because they realize this. The fact that you are looking for help is a compliment to your judgment and is no indication that you are approaching a mental breakdown. Hypnotherapy has helped countless numbers of people to overcome serious emotional symptoms and has enabled many others to increase their productivity, peace of mind and to improve their personal relationships.

What happens to the information about me?

In scientific work, records are necessary since they permit a more thorough dealing with one’s problems. It is understandable that you might be concerned about what happens to the information about you because much or all of this information is highly personal. Case records are confidential and stored in a secure place. No outsider, not even your closest relative or family physician is permitted to see your case record without your written permission.

Exactly what is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness that occurs normally in every person just before he enters into the sleep state. In therapeutic hypnosis we prolong this brief interlude so that we can work within its bounds.

Can everybody be hypnotized?

Yes, because it is a normal state that everybody passes through before going to sleep. However, it is possible to resist hypnosis like it is possible to resist going to sleep. But even if one resists hypnosis, with practice the resistance can be overcome.

What is the value of hypnotherapy?

There is no magic in hypnosis. It is employed in medicine to reduce tension and pain which accompany various physical problems, and to aid certain rehabilitative procedures. In psychiatric and psychological practice hypnosis is helpful (delete:in short term therapy, and also, in some cases, in long term) in treatment where obstinate resistance has been encountered or where the source of current difficulties is not accessible to the rational mind by means of talk therapy. Hypnotherapy can help in moving the client forward in their personal growth and increase overall well-being.

Who can do hypnosis?

Only a qualified professional should decide whether one needs hypnosis or could benefit from it. The professional requires special training in the techniques and uses of hypnosis before he or she can be considered qualified, and should be certified in Hypnotherapy.

Why do some people have doubts about hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a much misunderstood phenomenon. For centuries it has been affiliated with spiritualism, witchcraft and various kinds of mumbo jumbo. The exaggerated claims made for it by undisciplined persons have turned some people against it. Some doctors and psychiatrists too doubt the value of hypnosis, because Freud gave it up eighty years ago, and because they themselves have not had much experience with its modern uses.

Can’t hypnosis be dangerous?

The hypnotic state is no more dangerous than is the sleep state. But unskilled operators may give subjects foolish suggestions, such as one often witnesses in stage hypnosis , where the trance is exploited for entertainment purposes. A delicately balanced and sensitive person exposed to unwise and humiliating suggestions may respond with anxiety. On the whole, there are no dangers in hypnosis when practiced by ethical and qualified practitioners.

I am afraid I can’t be hypnotized.

All people go through a state akin to hypnosis before falling asleep. There is no reason why you should not be able to enter a hypnotic state.

What does it feel like to be hypnotized?

The answer to this is extremely important because it may determine whether or not you can benefit from hypnosis. Some people give up hypnosis after a few sessions because they are disappointed in their reactions, believing that they are not suitable subjects. The average person has the idea that he will go through something different, new and spectacular in the hypnotic state. Often he equates being hypnotized with being anesthetized, or being asleep, or being unconscious. When in hypnosis he finds that his mind is active; that he can hear every sound in the room; that he can resist suggestions if he so desires; that his attention keeps wandering, his thoughts racing around; that he has not fallen asleep, and that he remembers everything that has happened when he opens his eyes, he believes himself to have failed. He imagines then that he is a poor subject, and he is apt to abandon hypnotic treatment. The experience of being hypnotized is no different from the experience of relaxing and of starting to fall asleep. Because this experience is so familiar to you, and because you may expect something startlingly different in hypnosis, you may get discouraged when a trance is induced. Remember, you are not anesthetized, you are not unconscious, you are not asleep. Your mind is active, your thoughts are under your control , you perceive all stimuli, and you are in complete communication with the therapist. The only unique thing you may experience is a feeling of heaviness in your arms, and tingling in your hands and fingers. If you are habitually a deep sleeper, you may doze momentarily. If you are a light sleeper, you may have a feeling you are completely awake.

How deep do I have to go to get benefits from hypnosis?

If you can conceive of hypnosis as a spectrum of awareness that stretches from waking to sleep, you will realize that some aspects are close to the waking state, and share the phenomena of waking; and some aspects are close to sleep, and participate in the phenomena of light sleep. But over the entire spectrum , suggestibility is increased; and this is what makes hypnosis potentially beneficial, provided we put the suggestibility to a constructive use. The depth of hypnosis does not always correlate with the degree of suggestibility . In other words, even if you go no deeper than the lightest stages of hypnosis and are merely mildly relaxed, you will still be able to benefit from its therapeutic effects. It so happens that with practice you should be able to go deeper , but this really is not too important in the great majority of cases .

How does hypnosis work?

The human mind is extremely suggestible and is being bombarded constantly with suggestive stimuli from the outside, and suggestive thoughts and ideas from the inside. A good deal of suffering is the consequence of “negative” thoughts and impulses invading one ‘s mind from subconscious recesses. Unfortunately, past experiences , guilt feelings, and impulses and desires are constantly pushing themselves into awareness, directly or in disguised forms, sabotaging one’s happiness, health and efficiency. By the time one has reached adulthood, he has built up “negative” modes of thinking, feeling and acting which persist like bad habits. And like any habits they are hard to break. In hypnosis, we attempt to replace these “negative” attitudes with “positive” ones. But it takes time to disintegrate old habit patterns: so do not be discouraged if there is no immediate effect. If you continue to practice the principles taught by your therapist, you will eventually notice change. Even though there may be no apparent alterations on the surface, a restructuring is going on underneath. An analogy may make this clear. If you hold a batch of white blotters above the level of your eyes so that you see the bottom blotter, and if you dribble drops of ink onto the top blotter, you will observe nothing different for a while until sufficient ink has been poured to soak through the entire thickness. Eventually the ink will come down. During this period while nothing seemingly was happening, penetrations were occurring. Had the process been stopped before enough ink had been poured, we would be tempted to consider the process a failure. Suggestions in hypnosis are like ink poured on layers of resistance; one must keep repeating them before they come through to influence old, destructive patterns.

How can I help in the treatment process?

It is important to mention to your therapist your reactions to treatment and to her, no matter how unfounded, unfair or ridiculous these reactions may seem. If for any reason you believe you should interrupt therapy, mention your desire to do so to your therapist. Important clues may be derived from your reactions, dreams and resistance that will provide an understanding of your inner conflicts, and help in your treatment.

What about self-hypnosis?

“Relaxing exercises”, “self-hypnosis” and “auto-hypnosis” are interchangeable terms for a reinforcing process that may be valuable in helping your therapist help you. If this adjunct is necessary, it will be employed. The technique is simple and safe.

Sign up for the Positive Change Newsletter!

Contact Me

Contact me about my services and publications, or fill out the pre-screening form and I will contact you ASAP for a free phone consultation.