faqclientsRead down to find out about common questions people ask themselves before deciding to start a therapy.

Why do I feel bad if everything in my life is perfect and others have it far worse?

There is an extremely wide array of difficulties troubling normal people at any age, regardless of outward signs of wealth, success and well-being.  It is an underestimated challenge for everyone to face modern occidental life with its load of high expectations, high demands, emphasis on individualism and materialism, denial of other needs, high levels of stress, disjointed family and social support networks, increased migration and instability, changing roles, clashing communication patterns and values …to name only a few external factors related to inner trouble. 

I have good friends, I wonder how talking to a therapist would make a difference?

What happens between a therapist and a client is different. The therapist does not talk about himself nor involves you in his or her problems. The time you pay for is completely dedicated to you. The therapist focuses on you with no preconceived opinions or judgments. He does not intend to make you do things you don’t want to.  His role is only to make a specific process happen (the therapeutic process).

To contact a therapist, does it mean I’m crazy?

To contact a therapist does not mean you are crazy. It means you are healthy enough to know you need help. 

What if I become dependent on therapy?

You remain free at all times to book appointments or not.  If you feel you enjoy therapy it’s essentially because it has become helpful.  You need not fear dependency for at some point when you've reached a level of comfort you will wish to take a break. 

What if the therapist judges me?

Therapist’s training and job focuses on shedding light, understanding and unravelling what seems to make no sense, what seems irrational and unacceptable.  In order to do that, therapists adopt a neutral and non-judgmental attitude. 

What if the therapist tries to influence me?

It’s not the therapist’s job to give advice or try to make you do what he considers fit. He may express an opinion in certain circumstances such as related to your safety but he will make it clear that you remain the boss at all times. 

What if I don’t like the therapist?

One of your main tasks at the beginning is to find someone with whom you feel comfortable, respected and listened to. Therapy will not occur if you constantly hold ill feelings towards the therapist.   Trust is essential.  Make appointments with several therapists and stay with the one you prefer.   

What if I don’t feel like saying everything and don’t want to dwell on my past?

You are expected at all times to say only what you feel the need to say.  You are neither required to say everything nor requested to dissect your past.  Eventually, you will feel free to express the flow of thoughts and feelings as they come up.  You will discover that often, it is what seems to be silly, trivial and unrelated which helps shed new light on situations. 

How will I know therapy is helpful?

The best indicator of therapy being useful is when symptoms gradually disappear and/or you feel you are back on track on the path which leads you towards your goals.  This won’t happen immediately though, especially if you’ve been suffering for years.  This is why there is another good indicator you need to pay attention to:  your subjective experience.  Do you “feel” the sessions are useful? Do you feel you are gaining clarity, understanding and new insights?  If not, if you feel repeatedly angry and resentful towards the therapist, if you feel you are stagnating, either you have wrong expectations as to what can be achieved in therapy or you plainly need to change therapist.  Discuss it over and proceed to change. 

I’m scared the therapist will determine I’m mentally ill!

Psychotherapists are trained to focus and enhance resources, capacities, talents and strengths.  Everyone has positive sides.   It’s the constructive side of you which is going to get you where you want to be.

Only medical doctors are legally allowed to diagnose.  If you want to engage in a REIMBURSED therapy, you have to know that theoretically, medical insurances will only cover the treatment of diagnosed illnesses, including in the mental field.  That is why they request a prescription for therapy given by a medical doctor.  If medical doctors can remain quite vague in the beginning as far as what your “illness” is, they may have to give more details about it sometime later. 

What are mental illnesses?

The current occidental categories of mental illnesses were created to describe syndromes in the psychological area.  Psychological syndromes are clusters of symptoms in the cognitive, emotional and behavioural areas.  These diagnostic categories facilitate communication between specialists and with medical insurances and help justify medical decisions such as the prescription of medicine and hospitalization. They are not effective as far as helping you reach your own goals and getting better.

What are my rights?

You are free to think what you want.  Within limits set by the law, what you say in a session remains confidential.

Is there anything expected of me?

Your main responsibilities are to attend settled appointments, pay for reserved time slots and tell the therapist when you decide to stop.

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