How do I know if I need therapy?
Knowing when you need help and asking for it is a sign of strength, and everyone needs help now and then. Perhaps you are experiencing some mood issues like depression or anxiety, or perhaps some aspect of your behavior is changing in ways you don’t like, as with anger or substance abuse. Using therapy as a specific non-judgmental place to address these concerns can shine a light on how to improve them. Your therapist can work as your partner help you identify your options, strategies and roadblocks and create a path through this difficult time.
How do I find the right therapist for myself or my child?
At Aurora we take the idea of a “good match” with your therapist very seriously. Rather than have clients contact our therapists directly, we prefer that your call our Intake Department, where our Director or Office Manager will gather information on your specific situation and refer you to the therapist here who is the best fit. We want to understand your availability for sessions and your insurance as well as your personal issues, so we can make a good match in all three areas and find the right therapist for you at this time.
What’s the difference between talking to a therapist and friends or family?
Friends or family can be great sources of support, but often have difficulty listening to your issues without offering their own [strong!] opinions. They also don’t have the experience that a mental health professional does with issues such as mood disorders, family or couples conflict, parenting techniques or substance abuse, to name a few. Therapists have been trained to teach you new skills or coping mechanisms, offer different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy gives you a place to share your deepest secrets that may need to be examined with compassion and no judgment. It is a space just for you and your own needs, which is hard to find in other relationships!
How does therapy work? What do we do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy can be different depending on the individual. One therapist can also operate very differently from another, so as noted, it’s important to find a therapist who is a good match for you or your child’s specific needs. 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. Child therapists will also often play games or make-believe with their clients to address issues in an indirect way.
How long does therapy usually take?
Many people ask this, and the answer is: it depends! Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or history, or your desire for more personal development. Some folks come for a few months and some folks for a few years. Some children come here and use the therapist as a trusted advisor through their developmental years. Some folks take breaks for a while but when they need to come back, return to the same therapist who knows them and their whole story without having to ‘start over again.’ It is an answer ultimately up to you.
How can I get the most out of therapy?
You will get better results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. Show up regularly, be as honest as possible [even when it’s unpleasant news!], explore different possibilities, be open to recommendations. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in sessions back into life, so if you are receptive to ‘homework,’ the therapist can suggest some things you can do at home to support your progress. You may begin to practice relaxation skills, journal on a specific topic, start an exercise routine, or track particular emotions. You should also let your therapist know if you have concerns or issues about how the therapy is going – your wellness is the whole point!