The Psychotherapy Center
Recovery, Healing, Transformation

"Psychotherapy" comes from the Greek, and means "listening to the soul".

About Psychotherapy - benefits, risks, and what to expect

People come into a therapist's office filled with anxiety and questions about what to expect, what will happen there, how therapy works, and what will be expected of them. Psychotherapy is not like any other doctor visit: it requires a very active effort on your part in order for therapy to be most successful. Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks, which will be evaluated by the therapist and you at the initial consultation. For example, you may for a time have uncomfortable levels of sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, or other negative feelings that come about as a result of looking deeply into your life. Therapy may disrupt outside relationships temporarily, or a problem may initially worsen as you explore the underlying causes and learn new ways of dealing with it. Most of these are common risks expected when people make important changes in themselves and their lives.


While you consider all of these risks, you should also be aware of all the benefits that have been shown in hundreds of studies done on the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Depressed people may find their mood lifting, and their everyday activities easier to cope with. Others may no longer feel anxious or afraid, or angry all the time. Individuals' relationships and coping skills may improve greatly, and they may get more satisfaction from their social and work relations. A person may grow in many directions - it mainly depends on  what you are looking to get out of the experience, and how much work you are willing to put into it.


The first few sessions will involve an evaluation by the therapist of your needs. Your therapist will ask you many questions about the nature and history of your psychological problems, your family background, history of school experience, job history, relationships, etc. It will be helpful you come prepared to answer these questions as honestly and completely as you can.


After the evaluation period, which may take several sessions, your therapist will be able to give you an idea of what she feels would be an appropriate course of treatment. If you decide to continue with therapy, you should consider all of this information, as well as your own opinions of your comfort level working with her. Therapy involves a large commitment of time, money, and energy, so you should be thoughtful about the therapist you select.