What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy, also known as counseling, is an intentional process in which a trained professional enters a relationship with a client to help understand and resolve his or her life issues. There are lots of theoretical approaches, and so psychotherapy can look very different, depending on the therapist’s approach.

Do you need Psychotherapy?

Therapy is helpful if you feel stuck, and the assistance of friends and family, or your efforts at self-help are not working. It is best to get help as early as possible before the situation becomes a crisis and more complicated. Psychology Today has a number of tests that can help you determine if therapy would be helpful. Click  here  to be directed to these tests.

Speaking to a therapist can also help determine if psychotherapy will be helpful for you. Although it is normal to wonder if a therapist is merely trying to sell their services, we are morally and ethically obliged by the California Board of Behavior Sciences and more importantly our consciences, to never offer therapy to someone who does not need it. Our job is to help, not deplete your resources.

How long do I need to be in therapy?

The length of therapy differs for each person and depends on many factors including the type and severity of the problem, as well as your interest, motivation, and commitment. I work towards resolving your issues quickly. Sometimes brief interventions are very helpful. At other times, a longer period of therapy is needed for an in-depth exploration and healing.

Because a positive relationship between the client and therapist is crucial to helping you heal, I recommend coming for at least 5 sessions to see if a positive relationship has been created. Most clients are in treatment for three to six months, and often for longer periods of time.

How is therapy different than talking to a good friend?

Therapists are trained to listen and focus in ways that are different from how a friend will hear you. A therapist’s intent is simply to understand what you are saying in comparison to a friend, whose motivations are often more complex and personal. The therapeutic relationship allows a deeper exploration of meaning and feelings without judgment. Therapist can use specific interventions and techniques effective for dealing with the presenting issue. Knowing a session has a time limit, that the conversation is held strictly confidential, and that the therapist’s first priority is to help you, allows for a safe and unique setting to explore your issues.

How often should I come to therapy?

For maximum benefit you should come regularly once a week. In the time when you need greater support or want to focus on an issue more deeply, you can come twice or three times a week.

How long are the sessions?

The sessions are fifty to sixty minutes long.

How do I get the most out of therapy?

Therapy is a good investment in your life, your family, and your future. Attending regular sessions and becoming an active participant will help you get the most out of therapy. I encourage you to talk about yourself, your feelings, and your life, ask questions, and reflect on your experience in therapy. The more I know you, and understand your needs, the better I can tailor therapy to address them. I may give you suggestions on what to focus on in between sessions, so that you get the most out of our time together.

Are the sessions confidential?

Everything, including that I even know you, is strictly confidential under California law. Fortunately, even if you committed some illegal crime, therapy provides a safe place to be honest. If it was clear that you are intending to seriously harm yourself or someone else whom I am able to identify, then I am required by law to do what I can to stop you. Additionally, if you are presenting your mental health as a factor in a lawsuit, then our work can be subpoenaed.

What if I am in a crisis or there is an emergency?

I check my voice mail regularly, but I may not able to respond immediately, therefore if you are in a crisis or there is a life-threatening emergency, immediately call 911.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment please call: (626) 327-2846 or email: contact@alfredolozanotherapy.com