Does therapy really work?
In 1995, Consumer Reports conducted a study examining the efficacy of therapy. Of the 4,000 therapy clients who responded, nearly 90% reported that they were managing life better after getting help. Moreover, those individuals who reported the most discomfort and upset at the beginning of treatment reported the most improvement from psychotherapy.
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Some of those surveyed were treated with both psychotherapy and medications such as antidepressants, etc., whereas others were treated with "talk" therapy alone. Interestingly, this second group reported just as much improvement as the medication only group. In addition, this study found that therapy which lasted more than six months was significantly more effective than shorter-term therapies. Clients whose treatments were limited by insurance company policies had worse outcomes than those who did not have such limitations.
Statistics aside, nearly one hundred years of experiential evidence has been gathered regarding the efficacy of psychotherapy. Many mental health professionals have documented case after case in which mental and emotional distresses were successfully overcome, stubborn medical issues resolved and the general quality of life vastly improved. These statements are not as easy to prove through strictly statistical means, although much empirical research has been conducted that does support the efficacy of psychotherapy. (This is why more and more insurance companies are increasingly covering mental health treatment these days.) That said, although the majority of therapy clients report significant benefits from treatment, therapy is not for everyone. In the spirit of scientific investigation, the only way to genuinely evaluate the efficacy of therapy may simply be to keep an open mind, try a few sessions with Anton Counseling & Health Psychologiy and see for yourself.
Also known as an intake interview, the initial consultation is a one hour initial meeting with a Psychologist/therapist. Mandatory for new clients, the initial consultation provides you and the therapist a chance to meet one another and determine if the two of you are a good treatment match, or if another of the therapists on staff might be more ideal for your individual circumstances. During this meeting, the therapist will ask you about your life background, as well as the issue(s) that bring you to therapy. Basic goals for the treatment process will be considered within the context of both short- and long-term treatment options. Taking into account all of these factors, as well as the client's financial resources, a regular meeting schedule for standard sessions will be discussed. To schedule your initial consultation, contact Anton Counseling & Health Psychology or privately schedule an appointment on-line. We will do our very best to match you with the therapist most appropriate for your individual treatment goals, resources, etc. If, for whatever reason, you feel that you do not "click" with the therapist during the initial consultation, you may request that you continue work with another member of our team.
How often should I come?
There are no ready-made answers for this question, as individuals differ widely in their psychological wants and needs, financial resources and overall personality structures. Of the various treatment options, however, a common meeting format involves once or twice-weekly visits for 45-50 minute sessions. Although coming less frequently (some clients come every other week, for example) can still be effective, the regular weekly meeting schedule allows for a real momentum of change to be established, as well as fostering a more dynamic and intimate relationship between the therapist and client. With this in mind, some highly-motivated clients may choose to come up to four or five times weekly, forming a deep alliance with the therapist so that even the earliest personality building blocks can be re-examined from a new, more intentional perspective. Contrary to many common misconceptions regarding the treatment process, psychotherapy includes hard work. Anyone who is able and willing to examine his or herself honestly and openly in the context of therapy will likely begin to see benefits of this personal work very early in the treatment process.
How can I measure my progress in therapy?
The earliest signs of progress in therapy often manifest as increasing awareness of the various ways in which one is "stuck." Relatively early in treatment, one may likely begin to recognize self- defeating patterns or habits of thinking, feeling and behaving without necessarily being able to change them immediately. Later, after watching these habits at work and discussing with the therapist the causes and effects of these habits, the individual is able to make changes and let go of old patterns. As this self- actualization process deepens, one begins to feel more natural, spontaneous and at ease in all areas of life. Genuine emotions come more freely and relationships deepen. Old patterns of worrying and obsessing become much less disruptive.
Along the way, however, there are likely to be difficult times in treatment, and it is not uncommon for the dedicated client to experience occasional periods of increased confusion or anxiety— at times likely feeling angry with, resentful toward, or distrustful of the therapist. Ironically, although such times may be difficult, they can also be some of the most encouraging signs of progress and change.
Rather than being obstacles to the treatment process, these times of increased anxiety, frustration and confusion can propel the therapeutic process to higher levels of self-awareness and more satisfying life experiences. To make the most of such difficulties, however, the client should openly discuss these feelings with the therapist so that seeming treatment obstacles can be used adaptively to further the process.
Are sessions confidential?
My work makes it difficult for me to schedule during the day. Do you have any weekend or evening appointment times?
In fact, we find that most of our clients are able to take a break from their busy schedules and find the time to come in during the day, however, your individual therapist may schedule special appointments in the evenings and on some Saturdays. We will set appointments that work within your schedule and our availability. Keep in mind, our schedule fills rather quickly and it is best to schedule several appointments, up to a month in advance, in order to ensure premium time slots.
Do you see children, adolescents, adults, or couples?
This is a general practice with several specialties and currently, we see parents, adults, and couples. After your "initial meet & greet" with your therapist & your situation is assessed, you will know if your specific concerns fall outside our areas of expertise and you will then be given referral information for specialists. However, our background is diverse and includes working with people of various ages and concerns.
What can I do outside of therapy to help myself?
Although our sessions are crucial in addressing your concerns, they are not the only vehicle to help you accomplish your goals. Life is very complex and in order for you to be more successful, practice will need to be done between sessions and in real life situations. “Homework” to practice or suggestions of things to read between our meetings can provide new content for your next session.
If I have an emergency, what should I do?
If you have a life-threatening emergency or think it might be life- threatening, call 911. Our office is not equipped to handle such emergencies. However, things may come up between sessions that are of an urgent nature. You may call 403-263-5543 and speak to your psychologist if available or leave a message 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We recommend that you call the Crisis Centre in extreme situations at 403-266-1605.