So, This is Therapy!
Many times, people, either on the phone, or in person, tell me “This is the first time I’ve done this”. They look terrified a lot of the time, not sure what’s coming. So, I’ve decided to write this article to help you have some level of comfort before you arrive.
Some therapists have a very specific way of working, and although I have my preferences, there are different types of therapy I have trained in, and that I draw from in the work that I do (ex. Bioenergetics, bodywork, cognitive/talk therapy, Imago therapy, trance therapy, relaxation work, etc). I try and assess the client, their goals and comfort level, and draw from those to meet their needs. Because of this approach, therapy can look quite different depending on whom I’m seeing.
My office is in my home, which looks like this from the front (photo 1). You enter through the side door (photo 2) and let yourself in – the door will be unlocked. Sometimes it sticks a little. When you open the door, the dogs will bark (photo 3), but they do not come to the door. They are downstairs behind a gate. Come along the hall, and have a seat in the living room (photo 4). I’ll be with you shortly (photo 5).
My office is at the back of the house (photo 6). I do not have a particular chair; you can sit where you want, unless I’m doing Imago couple’s work. I have a number of different materials that I use as well, and we can explore those together. I also have a room for larger groups (photo 7). It’s a pretty casual atmosphere.
I often do a family history near the beginning, to give me context for your life. Working with couples, I prefer to meet you together as soon as possible. At times, I may need to meet with you in your home. I also use the internet to see people over distance, using various types of technology and software (i2eye, ooVoo, Skype, Camfrog). If I’m travelling in your area, and usually see you on the internet, you might have the option of meeting with me in person, somewhere in your area. I usually give homework, particularly at the beginning of the process, but it depends on the client, and their particular approach and needs.
Some of my assumptions are:
1) You know yourself better than anyone else
2) I will not always be right
3) You should be comfortable, and can take control of the environment (i.e. temperature, seating, lighting)
4) There is something causing you discomfort in your life
5) There is probably something deeper behind that, that you may or may not want to look at
6) You are not broken, but patterns of relating, that have worked in the past, aren’t working as well anymore.
So, while this doesn’t actually tell you what the therapy will look like for you, because that will depend on who you are, I hope this helps you be a little less anxious coming in the door and sitting down. I want you to tell me when I’m wrong. We’ll work together from there. Welcome!