I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Don’t you have to be “crazy” or mentally ill to go to therapy?
Not at all. People with all sorts of issues come to therapy to better understand their problems and what is getting in the way of solving them. It takes courage to reach out and most people who do find that therapy is very helpful in giving them a different perspective and a place to talk openly about whatever is challenging them, whether it is a serious mental illness or an issue with relationships, career, or stress.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
We all turn to those close to us in times of trouble. However, that can be especially difficult when those closest to us are part of the difficulties. They often lack perspective on the situation we are wrapped up in because they are in the situation themselves and can’t provide an outside perspective. A psychologist is someone who is trained to understand the ways people get stuck and effective methods for getting around obstacles. They also keep everything confidential so you don’t have to worry about your private life being talked about by others. A psychologist knows how to handle strong emotions making therapy a safe place to express whatever you might be feeling, no matter how difficult.
Will I be pushed to take medication?
No. Dr. Brugman believes that medication can be helpful as a way to reduce some symptoms so that people can make healthy decisions as they heal; however, he will never push these on anyone. Dr. Brugman likes to educate his clients about how different types of medications work, common misconceptions, and how they might facilitate the work he does with people in therapy. That way, his clients can make informed decisions about medications and if they feel they are right for their treatment.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
I make it a top priority to orient you to how therapy works and the things you can do to make it most helpful. I take time to lay out the process and answer your questions so therapy does not feel confusing or scary.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place. I take time to understand your goals and check in with you throughout the process to make sure you feel therapy is continuing to be helpful. Through this collaborative process, we can determine together when our work is complete.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success. I encourage people to bring an open mind and talk about whatever occurs to them, even if they think it may not be all that important. By harnessing this openness and curiosity about your life, we can discover what’s most important and what keeps you stuck. Bringing examples of how problems show up in your life is very helpful, especially issues that arise in your relationships and your inner emotional life. However, it’s also OK to come to therapy not knowing what to talk about or what is important – we will work together to figure out what the problems are and help you find better ways to navigate them.
I’m nervous about going to therapy since I’ve never gone before. What if I “do it wrong”?
It’s completely natural to be anxious about coming to see someone. Even those who have been in therapy before are anxious about coming. Dr. Brugman wants you to feel comfortable – as such, he focuses on helping you get the most from your treatment by answering your questions, explaining how therapy works best, and emphasizing the collaborative nature of the process. Therapy is a process of figuring things out together, and as such, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it.