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Therapy is a very personal process. People are unique in how they relate to therapy, irrespective of if they have experienced it. We often receive messages from society, culture, and other's accounts, which frame how we think about it. Before starting, it can be helpful to ask yourself what types of messages you have gotten directly, or indirectly about therapy.  

Therapy can be viewed as process that a person, or group of people undergo with a licensed professional for the purpose of helping them achieve established goals relative to their mental health and wellness. While it may feel like there are many overlaps between a friendship and a therapeutic relationship, there are several ways they differ.

A therapist is someone who:

  • operates under a governing body with their own professional standards and code of ethics.

  • is bound by law to keep your personal information confidential and may only break confidentiality in limited circumstances.

  • is hired to assist a person and/or people with clarifying and reaching their mental health and wellness goals.

  • seeks to further understand and closely monitor their own world-views, values, biases, judgement, and opinions in order to best serve people.

  • is cautious when disclosing personal information and may integrate self-disclosure when it's deemed beneficial.

  • seeks professional development to ensure best practices and quality care.

In accordance with your consent and goals, some ways a therapist might support you includes (but is not limited to):  

  • affirming, validating, and/or normalizing your experiences.

  • asking the right questions.

  • using evidenced-based approaches to establish and help you move toward goals and objectives.

  • encouraging you to formulate your own conclusions and embody qualities you desire, while processing conflicting parts of you that arise in the moment.

  • supporting you through processing past, present, life events, thoughts, and behaviors and help you identify themes, patterns, stress responses, world-views, thoughts, and values.

  • bringing awareness to barriers that could prevent you from choosing behavior that aligns with your values.

  • processing potential blinds spots; something that no one is exempt from.

  • teaching effective communication, mindfulness techniques, and coping skills to assist with regulating your nervous system.

  • provide psychoeducation wherever useful and requested.

  • collaborate with outside professionals as part of your treatment.

  • connect you to resources in the community that can be an added addition to your wellness.

  • integrating people in your life into the therapeutic process under limited circumstances.

  • checking into the status of your relationship together and request your thoughts of what can be done to improve it.

  • assisting you with creating emergency response plans.

  • maintaining appropriate boundaries to ensure your safety in the therapeutic relationship.

Botton line: our interpersonal relationships do not always possess qualities that invite the sharing of sensitive information, nor should they have to. Therapy can help someone gain a more focused insight about their inner and outer world; to get a clearer sense of what motivates them, and learn to strike a balance between self-acceptance, and taking actions to improve.

Your therapist should be someone with experience working with individuals/groups with similar concerns and experiences. Ideally, they have gathered data points around what could help, what they have witnessed be helpful/unhelpful, and will simultaneously honor your uniqueness by tailoring their approach to accommodate you best.

It is completely okay if a therapist is not the right fit for you, for whatever reason that may be - determined by you. Ideally, there would be space in the relationship to learn why, but this is also not required by any means. Finding a therapist with the qualities you resonate with is important to the outcomes of your therapy. An open and honest discussion is encouraged so your therapist can connect you to someone who can better suit your needs; this step is also not required either. 


To learn more about this please call 720-663-0103, email, or click here to schedule an initial phone consultation. 



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