How can just talking possibly help?

In my office, you won't just be talking!  

You will be an active participant in setting goals and in learning to be your own therapist.  I enjoy listening to my clients, but I will also help you learn new skills that you'll be able to use for the rest of your life.  Depending on what you are dealing with, I may give you some worksheets or some exercises to try at home.  We'll figure out what works for you, and then you will practice those new skills.  

Some sample tools you might learn are: relaxation; assertive communication; analyzing your emotions and thoughts; thought stopping (for those persistent cyclical thoughts).  You'll learn about your diagnosis (if applicable) and you'll learn about what psychological science applies.  

It's important that you feel heard and supported throughout your therapy experience, but if I only listen to you and don't teach you any new skills, you run the risk of having to come right back to therapy the next time you encounter a challenge in life.  There's nothing wrong with coming back to therapy, but I would love to see you learn to coach yourself through the difficult patches.  If you decide to come back to see me later, you might learn a different set of skills, or you might want to bring your spouse to work together.  

And don't forget how important words are.  Leaving out even a single word can totally change the meaning of a sentence.  Think about the question, "Are you wearing that tonight?"  Now add a word: "Are you really wearing that tonight?"  It changes the tone of the conversation.  In the same way, changing the way you talk or think about something in your life can change your whole day.  You might go from thinking, "I can't do anything right," to "I made a mistake and I'll do it right next time." 

You can change the way that you're feeling using words, so talking about your feelings is pretty important.  But that's not all you'll be doing if you decide to work with me!  

Erin Kramer