Frequently Asked Questions About Therapy
What's a first therapy session like?
Our first session will be me getting to know you. I'll ask you some basic questions about your background, and then we'll get into what brought you to therapy. This will be a chance for you to tell me your goals, what you hope to get out of treatment, and how I can best help you. We may start working on a treatment plan — a document that lays out the skills and interventions you'll need to reach your goals. We may also just stick with an assessment that will help me learn more about you.
In the first session, we don't need to tackle anything too heavy. I won't pressure you into sharing something you aren't comfortable with. As a therapist, I understand healing is a delicate balance between being comfortable and uncomfortable. My goal as your therapist will be to help you feel safe and empowered first so that you can address complex topics later.
Do I need therapy?
The question of whether you "need" therapy is one that keeps many people from going. There is no right or wrong reason to go to therapy! People see me for a wide range of issues, from difficulty managing schoolwork to healing after an abusive relationship. What's manageable for one person may not be for you, and what one person needs to go to therapy for you may not.
Instead of thinking about whether you need therapy, think about what you can potentially gain from treatment. Are there areas in your life that, if changed or improved, would allow you to be happier, feel freer, or bring you peace? If so, you're welcome here.
What if I don't know what I need to work on?
Many people come to therapy even when they don't know what's wrong — they know they're not happy. That's an excellent reason to go to therapy. Feeling stuck, lost, or indecisive could be a sign of a problem you can't put words to yet. That's exactly what I do here at Therapy With Abby — help people learn about themselves and build insight, so they can grow and live their best lives possible.
What can I expect at therapy?
Once I learn more about you through an assessment, we'll build a treatment plan. You can think of this as a roadmap for our future work together. First, I'll ask you about what you want to work on and what you envision for your life. Then, I'll provide clinical guidance on how best to accomplish your goals, and we'll identify the best approaches and interventions to get you there.
Therapy is all self-paced—you won't be hurried along, pressured to talk about things you don't want to talk about, or made to feel bad in any way for what you share. I'm all about affirmation and acceptance. That doesn't mean I won't ever confront you on behaviors that are unhealthy. It means that I respect the how and why beneath your behaviors, and I'll come alongside you to help change them.
What will my therapist expect from me?
You should enter therapy at least willing to consider making a change. Therapy is a two-way street—it requires effort from both parties. There's some benefit in just talking about your problems, but only so much. The real, lasting change comes from processing how difficult events shaped you. That usually means learning to replace unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with healthier ones. It would help if you didn't view therapy as a bandage that fixes things but rather a time to build a toolkit. Throughout your life, you will use this toolkit to cope with challenges that arise, both new and old.
Many people come to therapy because they feel "stuck." My goal at Therapy With Abby isn't to get you "un-stuck" myself but to teach you how to do it yourself. That way, if your symptoms start to come back later or another adverse event happens, you'll be able to rely on the skills you built with me.