Providing Clinical Telemental Health Services to Florida and North Carolina Residents
Psychotherapy provides a unique opportunity for individuals to face challenges in their lives. My belief is that people are inherently capable of choosing what is best for them physically, emotionally and cognitively. Often they are stuck in old patterns of perception, thought, feelings and behavior that lead to anxiety, depression, and compulsive or destructive behaviors. Sometimes they try harder, when what is needed is new awareness to increase their choices. Sometimes, they want others to change and lose sight of the fact that their potency is within themselves. Other times, they need more support, either learning to support themselves more effectively or to seek resources in their life space. The therapist can be an interim support in this process. The goal of therapy is choice. In order to have choice, one must be aware. The therapy session is an interactive, collaborative, respectful process that provides a "safe" environment to become aware of patterns, experiment with new possibilities and enable the client to make responsible choices that affect oneself and those around them.
Couples often base their ways of relating on their original family or on myths about intimacy from various media. Either couples copy the model or rebel and do the opposite. With the divorce rate above 70% for first marriages (even higher for subsequent ones) clearly, these models don't work well. People continue to try because an intimate relationship is the major way most of us find meaning in life. Dealing with the basic human dilemma of "how to be connected to another yet maintain a self" is the major work of couples therapy.
Unfortunately, sometimes one partner is not as willing as the other to come in for counseling. However, we often find that it is possible to improve the relationship with just one person involved in counseling.
In individual therapy sessions usually last a "therapy hour" which is 50 minutes. Most clients are seen once or twice a week during the initial stages. As the process continues and evolves sessions are scheduled less frequently. In couples counseling sessions are generally 90 minutes.
The length of time a client is in therapy depends on current needs, the nature of the problem, and the goals of the client. Some clients have a very specific problem that can be worked through in a set course of counseling sessions. For others, counseling is an on-going learning process and they may choose to receive counseling for a longer period. Ultimately, the length of time spent in counseling is always a personal choice.