Short-term Therapy

What is Short-term Therapy?

Short-term therapy gets to the heart of the matter, typically, within 6 to 8
sessions. It is about helping you to relinquish unpleasant or negative
emotions, which are sustained by certain unidentified thought patterns and
core beliefs. When you can get right to the feelings; when you can identify
the “inner conversation” that you play to yourself over and over it is often a
very rapid process of letting the feelings go.

Between each session, I will give you homework which will reinforce our
sessions together. Short-term therapy is not only about helping you deal
with the problem for which you are seeking help but also to teach you a
powerful self-help tool which you can use for the rest of your life in virtually
any troublesome situation. (see
The Art of Letting Go article). Out of our
sessions together you will:

  • Identify and pinpoint unwanted or troubling emotions in various
    areas of your life
  • Identify unfinished emotions from your past
  • Learn to take an accurate "emotional pulse"
  • Learn to take responsibility for your emotions and your ego
  • Learn to evaluate your emotions as either helpful or hurtful to your
    peace of mind
  • Discern when to communicate feelings and when to deal with it
    "inside"
  • Learn the Art of Letting Go process
  • Learn to replace your negative emotions with new possibilities of
    thinking, feeling and  perceiving

How Long Does Therapy Usually Last

Typically, the length of therapy is tailored to your unique situation and
individual needs. Some people need a more protracted relationship with a
therapist to address the many facets of a problem for which they are
seeking help. If you are coming in with your partner or family members,
therapy is a place to open up honest communication, which may take
several or many sessions (see
Save Your Relationship program). Others
look to the therapeutic environment for
periodic support to get them
through a difficult time while some appreciate
on-going support for their
everyday lives and thus use the therapeutic environment to kind of “check
in” with themselves on a weekly or sometimes monthly basis. Yet others
look to a therapist for some
direct answers or help with making a decision,
which is generally a short-term endeavor. Ultimately, I believe, the length
of therapy should be a function of the accomplishment of your purpose
and goals. And the clearer you are with your goals, the more certain you
will be when it is time to end. But even though the ending of therapy may
be goal determined, I believe it is always helpful to set a flexible time frame
when therapy will be over. This insures that therapy is not an open-ended
process. And my goal is to make myself unnecessary in your life in the
least amount of time.

What Brings People Into Therapy?

While each person is unique, there are two basic perspectives on why
people seek help. The first view is situational. For example, you are
struggling with a problem, a difficulty, or a relationship. The problem seems
to be “out there” in your external world or perhaps "between" you and
another as in a marriage or relationship. Perhaps it has to do with
somebody’s undesirable behavior, or you find yourself in a difficult
situation, or you are uncertain about “what to do” about a particular
circumstance. Thus you might seek out the services of a professional to
help you solve the problem and determine your choices.

Another way of looking at your motivation is that you are experiencing an
unpleasant feeling or emotion. The problem is more “in here”. You are
struggling with an inner experience or negative behavior that affects your
happiness and well-being. Anger, depression, sadness, anxiety
resentment, hurt, loss and so on are all examples of undesirable feelings.
Overeating, substance use or poor performance on a job or at school are
examples of undesirable behavior. It is useful to recognize that undesirable
behavior and emotions often go hand in hand. Negative emotions fuel
negative behavior. And trying to change a behavior without dealing with
the underlying emotions often does not work (as in new year’s resolutions)
because it does not get to the root of the problem.

Whether you are coming in with a situation or undesirable feeling or
behavior, you may eventually discover that the root of many of your
problems is really centered on how you feel about yourself. This is how
many problems are often reframed in therapy anyway, that is, to help you
see that “the problem” isn’t so much “out there” but rather in what you are
doing to, and feeling about, yourself. When the problem is “out there” or
when it is about undesirable behavior either in yourself or another you
often find yourself helpless to deal with it because you are not getting to
the root cause. Sooner or later you realize that “trying to change” the
undesirable (either in yourself or in others) often brings about the opposite
result--no change at all (see article on
Getting the Most out of Therapy). If
you can grasp the notion that the problem is within you; that your problem
is your own emotional response and negative thinking; that it is the feelings
that you hold about yourself or others, then maybe short-term therapy is
all that you need.

Taking the First Step

If you would like to set an appointment or if you have any questions call
(877-372-8784) or
email me. The next step will be to download the Intake
Questionnaire which will give me an overview of your situation and
background. We will go over this information in more detail during our first
session, which is primarily meant for information gathering and to establish
goals for therapy. During this first session we will identify the emotions and
major areas of your life that will be the focus of our work.