1. How do I set goals for therapy?

Setting goals for therapy isn’t necessary, but it can be beneficial. Working towards something specific can help guide sessions and support tangible results. While some people prefer a more freeform approach to therapy, others like to have a roadmap. Both methods are equally effective, it just depends on what type of person you are. 

If you like to have goals but you’re not sure how to set them for therapy, your therapist will always be happy to support the process. Let your clinician know that you’re thinking about goal-setting as a way to get the most out of your sessions and they can help you figure out the best approach. 

When it comes to goal setting, keep in mind that having a mix of both long and short term goals  is usually a good idea. You can set yourself up for success by envisioning what you want to get out of therapy in general, as well as what you want to get out of each session.

2. Isn’t it a bad sign if you need relationship therapy?

Seeing a relationship therapist is not a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed… in fact it’s the opposite! Relationships are hard work, and going to therapy means you and your partner care enough about the relationship to make the necessary effort. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but rather strength. 

It’s also important to note that relationship therapy is suitable for all types of relationships (romantic, familial, platonic, etc.). Interpersonal relationships are complicated – typically the deeper the relationship runs, the more complex the dynamic is. Going to relationship therapy is an acknowledgement of this complexity and a sign of openness to learn and grow together.

If you’d like to know more about relationship therapy, we’d love to chat. Head to our website to schedule a consult at www.kennedycounselingcollective.com

3. Are there more budget-friendly therapy options?

For individuals looking for a more budget-friendly therapy offering, group therapy can be a wonderful option. Group therapy can help individuals connect more deeply and learn from others who are experiencing similar challenges. It can also enhance individual or couples therapy by providing peer support and social skills practice in a safe environment. At KCC we often organize therapy groups of about 5-10 people. If you’re curious to learn more, you can reach out to support@kennedycounselingcollective.com 

4. Where do I even begin in my first therapy session?

A lot of clients come into their first session not really knowing where to begin, and that’s totally fine. Your therapist is here to support you and provide the framework you need to maintain personal growth and set/reach your goals. Not knowing what to talk about in your first session is very common, so therapists are well equipped to get things flowing. 

Some general questions are to be expected, such as “what brings you here today?”, or “what’s been going on in your life lately?”, or “how are you feeling?” These questions are open-ended and designed to let you find direction in the conversation with a bit of guidance. If you ever feel uncomfortable or like you don’t know what to say, just tell your therapist that you’re feeling that way and they can help light the way.

5. How do I know if therapy is working?

Therapy is a different process for everyone, so there is no one-size-fits-all sign that it’s working. If you have set goals, those are a good way to track progress. If you have chosen not to set specific goals, you can look at your feelings and behaviors to see therapy’s impact. As always, your therapist is here for you. You can always simply ask them to help you understand what kind of impact your sessions are having in your life. Your clinician will likely ask you questions that will help you look in the right places to see the signs. 

6. Can I try therapy without committing to it?

Therapy is what you make it, and there is never any pressure to commit. You can of course have a consultation or attend one session and then take a break to let it simmer. If you decide it’s not for you, that’s totally fine. If you have a few sessions and want to take a few months off, that’s fine too. Therapy is designed to help you and fit your needs, so you can rest assured that you are in the driver’s seat and you can stop/go whenever it feels right for you.

7. What do I tell family and friends about my therapy?

Going to therapy is something to be proud of, yet people sometimes associate it with shame instead. Therapy is all about taking action towards intentional living and self-improvement (which we all have plenty of room for). Telling your friends and family that you’re starting therapy should be a conversation of celebration, so try to lead with excitement. That said, therapy can be a very private thing for some people, so telling your friends and family is by no means necessary. Each individual is different and it’s up to you whether or not you want to share this part of your life with your loved ones.

8. What about virtual therapy?

Virtual therapy is a wonderful thing that makes therapy accessible for individuals, regardless of their physical location. Some patients opt for virtual therapy full-time while others just use it when they’re traveling. Virtual therapy is a great way to maintain your mental-health routine when you’re on holiday, visiting family, on a long business trip, sick at home, or any number of other scenarios that may prevent you from physically coming in for a session.  

Virtual therapy is not offered everywhere, though we do offer it here at KCC. If you’re interested in learning more about how virtual therapy works, you can reach out to support@kennedycounselingcollective.com.

9. How many sessions will I need, and how do I know when to stop?

Since therapy is a highly personalized journey, there is no formula for how many sessions you’ll want or need. If you want to have more perspective into how long you’ll need to attend therapy in order to reach your goals, talk with your therapist. Typically, the number of sessions you’ll attend is something that you’d typically play by ear, checking in along the way on your progress, goals, and feelings. If you ever feel like you want to take a break or stop going to therapy altogether, you can of course do so. There is no pressure to commit and you can always stop at any time. 

For many people, therapy is sought as part of an ongoing self-care routine. For others, therapy is viewed more as a means to an end. Whatever the case is for you, your clinician will work with you to optimize your time together to meet your specific wants and needs. If you’re trying to reach specific goals, then your therapist can help you set up a framework for progress tracking and post-therapy maintenance.

10. Will therapy stop working when I stop going?

The beauty of therapy is that its benefits extend far beyond the confines of each session. Therapy is designed to help you develop lifelong tools such as navigating conflict, managing anxiety, and building healthy habits. By building your toolbox with your clinician, you can rest assured that your time in therapy will continue to have a positive impact on your life for years to come. If you ever feel like you need a refresher on the tools you’ve developed, or if you’re just going through something and need a bit of extra support, you can always come back to therapy whenever the timing is right for you. 

11. How do I navigate topics that I’m embarrassed about or ashamed of?

Therapy is likely going to feel uncomfortable from time to time as many of us can find it difficult to open up and be vulnerable to varying degrees. If you want to set boundaries and avoid certain topics altogether, you can absolutely do so. If you want to work through the tough topics, but aren’t sure how, just take it one step at a time and trust that your therapist has nothing but your best interests at heart. If you’re ever feeling too far out of your comfort zone, you can communicate that to your therapist and let them help you navigate the situation. Open communication can be hard, but admitting that it’s hard is a step in the right direction.

Talking about embarrassing or shameful topics can help you process those complex emotions and understand where they’re coming from and why. By letting your therapist know that you’re feeling uncomfortable about a certain topic, you’re already beginning to process and heal.

12. Does going to therapy mean there’s something wrong with me?

Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but rather strength. Going to therapy does NOT mean there’s something wrong with you. It means you’re human, and one of the great beauties of being human is the (visible and invisible) support network that we provide for one another throughout every aspect of our lives. Embracing that support network can be incredibly rewarding. You are not alone. If you feel there is a stigma around therapy, we’d be happy to chat and get into where that stigma comes from and how beneficial it is that therapy is becoming increasingly normalized in modern society. You can always reach out to us at Support@kennedycounselingcollective.com with any questions you may have.

As always, Kennedy Counseling Collective is here for you.

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