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Frequently Asked Questions


How can psychotherapy help me?
How can I decide whether I need psychotherapy or not?
What can I expect from psychotherapy?
What can I get out of a successful therapy?
What are the the 12 signs of depression?
How can I tell if I have low self esteem?
How can I deal effectively with feelings of anger?
What are the goals of constructive anger?
What are some examples of destructive anger?
What is assertive anger?
How can I tell if I'm co-dependent?

How can psychotherapy help me?
Seeing a psychotherapist does not mean that you are crazy or that something is wrong with you or that you can't handle your problems. In fact, seeking counseling can be a wise and courageous way of handling problems. Our culture gives independence such a high rating that we forget that using help appropriately is a sign of strength, not weakness. Although feeling good about yourself may be, for the most part, a do-it-yourself job, that still does not rule out getting professional help when you feel emotionally stuck.

How can I decide whether I need psychotherapy or not?

If you are experiencing any of the following feelings to excess it would be wise to discuss it with a therapist: lonely and estranged, in crisis, confused about how you feel, over-stressed, suffering a tragedy, unable to cope with daily problems, very anxious, depressed for more than a few days, lacking control over eating or drinking behaviors, uncontrollably angry, guilty, in physical pain that you suspect has psychological roots. These symptoms are signs that you have some unmet needs. They are clues that you need to examine your life and if it is not measuring up to what you want for yourself, you need to take responsibility for making changes. Psychotherapy can help you to apses your life situation and get it in sync with your goals.

What can I expect from psychotherapy?

First, you have a right to expect honesty, confidentiality, and emotional support from a therapist. You will probably feel relief from unburdening yourself to someone who will really listen. Your feelings are validated and you receive reassurance that your feelings are okay. You also get a sense of your options. You find you do have choices, that you are not trapped as you may have thought–even if your only choices relate to how you perceive your situation and how you will respond to it. This sense of choice can be freeing and empowering.  Another objective of therapy is greater self-responsibility. Part of the process may be painful as you are asked to look at your own part in your problems. This may be uncomfortable at first, but the rewards are great.

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What can I get out of a successful therapy?

Your life will have more meaning, your self esteem will be restored and you will feel like a more effective human being. Just as in life, if happiness is a major goal, it will probably be achieved. But if other worthwhile goals are achieved, happiness will follow.


The 12 signs of depression

1.  Loss of appetite
2.  Depressed affect
3.  Psychomotor agitation or retardation
4.  Sleeplessness or hypersomnia
5.  Lack of energy
6.  Poor concentration and indecisiveness
7.  Social withdrawal
8.  Feelings of hopeless ness, worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
9.  Low self esteem
10. Unresolved grief issues
11. Mood-related hallucinations or delusions
12. History of chronic or recurrent depression

How can I tell if I have low self esteem?

1. Excessive fear of failure:avoid all risk of failure or if your attempts at avoidance fail-you are devastated when it occurs.
2. Perfectionism: measuring your performance against some extreme standard that is impossible to achieve
3. Lack of assertion: reluctance to say what you want.
4. Disavowing achievements: afraid to take pride your achievements
5. Thinking only others have what it takes:    assume that you are successful because you are privy to some secret others don't have access to.

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How can I deal effectively with feelings of anger?

1. Recognize your anger. Anger is often expressed in such disguised forms as feeling disappointed, frustrated, let down, harassed, without belittling or attacking the other person. Fed up or annoyed. 
2. Rate the importance of your anger. This may sometimes necessitate stepping back to determine whether the provocation was really directed at you. Delay and reflection will almost always lead to less of a personal assault and will give you a chance to express your feelings without belittling or attacking the other person.
3. Take personal responsibility for your angry feelings rather than attack the integrity or character of the other person.
4. When expressing angry feelings, be specific; stick to the point and keep things in the present.

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What are the goals of constructive anger?

1. to communicate feelings of hurt
2. to change a hurtful situation
3. to prevent recurrence of the same hurt
4. to improve the relationship and increase communications.

 
What are some examples of destructive anger?

1. Passive anger-Some don't admit anger. They act like martyrs, breeding guilt in those around them.
2. Aggressive anger-can be physical-hitting, slamming doors or verbal-yelling, name calling, being sarcastic.

3. Passive aggressive anger- looks passive on the surface but is fact aggressive. Expressed in hidden ways like chronic lateness, overspending, unsafe driving. This type of anger causes hurt and humiliation.

What is assertive anger?

You state clearly and firmly what is upsetting you without attacking the other person. It sets limits and expresses needs using "I" rather than "you" statements. Through anger you can touch each other and can be touched, bridging the solitudes of two unique people with healing love.

How can I tell if I'm co-dependent?

Co-dependency can be defined as a specific condition that is characterized by preoccupation and extreme dependence (emotionally, socially and sometimes physically) on a person or object. Eventually this dependence on another person becomes a pathological condition that affects the co-dependent in all relationships. co-dependence hinders marriages, friendships and healthy family functioning.

How does co-dependency develop?

It usually develops from living in a dysfunctional, less-than-nurturing or abusive family.

What kind of difficulties do co-dependents have?

1. Experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem.
2. Setting functional boundaries
3. Owning and expressing their own reality
4. Taking care of their adult needs and wants.

How does recovery from co-dependence begin?

It begins with becoming conscious of what you are doing. Your focus has to be redirected onto yourself. Learning to live with yourself in mind is the first step towards increasing your self esteem. Honoring and valuing yourself means accepting yourself as you are in reality.