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Therapy doesn’t look like what you see in the movies

May 4, 2018

You know all those movie scenes in which people lie on couches in therapists’ offices and the counselor almost certainly wears glasses? Good news: modern talk therapy sessions are not as melodramatic as that. You certainly do not need to be reclined on a chaise lounge to have a therapist help you learn tools to manage your stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.

There is a wide range of circumstances, symptoms, and conditions that may lead someone to seek out therapy. Whatever the path that brought you there may be, therapy can be critical in helping you to lead a happier, healthier, and more productive life.

Another common misconception is that mental health treatment only works for those who have an active diagnosis or are significantly impaired by a severe mental illness. For many people, therapy can be incredibly beneficial during stressful periods, such as becoming the primary caregiver to an ill relative, experiencing a loss, or receiving a new medical diagnosis. These events and experiences surface underlying feelings that impact our mood, relationships, health, and ability to tackle daily challenges.

Therapy helps people develop insight and understanding of your challenges — and then equips you with the skills needed to manage associated emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and moods. Further, therapy can help to manage and even alleviate physical symptoms of certain conditions such as chronic pain and gastrointestinal (GI) issues. When the underlying mental health conditions are addressed in therapy, patients often also experience improvements in their physical health.

Modern talk therapy is goal-oriented, to help people achieve better overall health and quality of life.

The length of treatment depends on the conditions, life circumstances, and individual response to therapy. As people begin to reach their treatment goals, some may choose to continue care to develop and reach new goals. Others may continue therapy sessions for additional support as they gain confidence to maintain their progress independently.

For many people, therapy can feel like a foreign experience that brings up uncertainty or apprehension. The first meeting with a therapist is really a time to gather and share information. It does not necessitate a commitment to treatment with that provider, instead, it’s an opportunity to ask questions and gauge if you would be a good fit.

Learning about the therapist’s approach and interpersonal style can help you determine if you would work well together towards your treatment goals. If you feel comfortable, you can then schedule your next session and get started. If you have concerns and need time to think about it, you can always offer to schedule a follow-up at a later date or contact Quartet for a new match. You are never “stuck” — as a patient, you have the right to find the best care for you.

Learn more about finding a therapist who is a good fit for you. > 

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