Psychotherapy Questions and Answers
Dr. Carolyn Anderson provides answers to common and frequently asked questions related to psychotherapy. View common psychotherapy questions and answers.
When can psychotherapy help?
- When cognitive, emotional or behavioral symptoms are interfering with daily functioning and general life satisfaction.
- When a sense of emptiness or unclear purpose pervades the self -concept.
- When relationships are unsatisfying, conflictual or self-defeating
- When a life transition event (e.g., death of a loved one, divorce, aging) requires adjustment to change
What is Dr. Anderson’s approach to psychotherapy?
- People seek not only relief from suffering, but an understanding of their difficulties.
- The central challenge of psychotherapy is not only to generate insight, but to transform insight into behavioral change.
- People possess the internal resources needed to make and maintain the changes they desire. Psychotherapy can help them access and mobilize those resources.
Dr. Anderson’s approach is based on these assumptions:
Typical sessions reflect these assumptions and include some combination of insight-oriented dialogue and action-oriented planning and problem-solving. Goals are collaboratively developed and progress is reviewed regularly. Client feedback about the therapeutic process is strongly encouraged, as is a willingness to complete “homework” assignments. Examples might include experimenting with a new behavior, keeping a log on a problematic behavior, reading a relevant book or article, or writing in a journal. The best outcomes are achieved when the client fully engages with the process and essentially learns to become his or her own therapist.
When is individual therapy, rather than couples or family therapy, indicated?
- A family system has complicated dynamics and interlocking issues, such that change is needed in the system rather than in any one individual
- A partnership is strained or at risk through poor communications, infidelity, or other circumstances.
Individual therapy is indicated when a person has symptoms or personal growth issues to be addressed. Couples or family therapy may be a better choice when: