What to expect from Therapy with a Psychologist
Have you ever wondered what is would be like to actually be in therapy? Sure, you can see what the movies show about therapists and everybody knows that Dr. Phil has plenty of experience, but what is it like for everyday people, without a video camera rolling? Well, look no further! In the spirit of easing your mind, here is a basic outline of the structure of therapy and what you can expect from working with me. Each therapist is different, but we have similarities in our structure. Most therapy sessions are 50 minutes in length. Some offer 80 minutes for more in-depth sessions, though you will likely need to ask for that if you prefer more time.
Introduction- Hello, Nice to Meet You!
Clients usually find me through the internet or through a referral from someone. You can contact me via email or phone and I will respond as quickly as I am able to, usually within 24 hours. Remember that therapists are in sessions with clients and will not answer phone and email when in session- that would just be rude- so sometimes we can be a little difficult to reach. Once I receive a message from you, I will offer a free 20 minute consultation. As much as I would love to take credit for being the only psychologist to do this, most psychologists are willing to offer a free phone consultation. I prefer mine in person, since you can get a much better sense of what it would be like to work with me, in person.
The point of the consultation is for us to get a sense of whether we would work well together. You get to give me a synopsis of what you are struggling with and I give you an idea of how I would likely approach it. I share relevant therapeutic perspectives, give examples of the kinds of exercises we might do and the homework you can expect from me. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have. Duration of therapy and the costs involved sometimes come up in this session.
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How to Love Your Body
- Do you dislike your body?
- Do you see all of your flaws when you look in the mirror?
- Is it difficult to believe people when they compliment you?
How many of you can honestly say that you love your body, just the way it is? Out of the hundreds, if not thousands, of clients I have worked with over the years, only two of them stand out as being comfortable with their bodies. One is a 60 year old woman who miraculously feels comfortable with her body as it is. She keeps it healthy and reasonably fit, but does not obsess about it. The other is a 30 year old man who was seriously injured and had to fight to stay alive. He beat the odds and managed to be active in sports and regular workouts by refusing to believe the doctors when they said he would never walk again. He worked hard to love his body and has succeeded. Unfortunately, these two are highly unusual. The rest of us need some help learning to be comfortable and happy in our bodies.
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I Would Like a Piece of Peace, Please (Part 2)
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Active Peace: A Beginner's Guide
The idea of finding inner peace sounds pretty good, doesn't it? All you have to do is begin practicing Awareness, Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Compassion (see my last blog: I Would Like a Piece of Peace, Please, Part 1) and you not only find your own inner peace, but you actually make a change in our world. Practicing inner peace affects every person you come into contact with, therefore contributing to world peace.
You might look at these simple concepts of awareness, mindfulness, acceptance, and compassion and think, "yeah, I can do that." If you already have a plan for how to use these ideas, I congratulate you and encourage you to go for it. If you look at this and say, "um...these ideas are great, but what do I DO? How do I incorporate these into my daily living?", I'm happy to tell you that I have some specific actions you can take to begin your journey to Inner Peace today.
This is an ongoing, integrative process. You find inner peace for moments, hours, sometimes days, but most of us do not stay there indefinitely. It requires intention and practice, which means you must find the method that works best for you. You do not have to follow these steps in any particular order because they all work together. As you increase your awareness, you find that mindfulness increases. As you increase mindfulness, you become more aware and it is easier to accept reality. Once you accept reality, you become more aware. As you develop awareness and mindfulness, it becomes easier to practice compassion, and as you practice compassion, it becomes easier to accept reality. With that in mind, start with whichever step you prefer. If you are unsure where to begin, you can use the order I have. If you prefer your own way, by all means, honour your own way. In the spirit of releasing judgment, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to do this.
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