Q: What is therapy?
A: Therapy is emotional support and guidance from a licensed clinical professional who assists his or her clients in emotional and psychological wellness. Therapy is especially useful during times of transition or when a person is struggling with family and/or relationship problems, grief and loss related issues, addiction (self or family member), employment changes or losses, or any other situations or relationships causing stress, anxiety, or despair.
Q: Isn’t therapy just for crazy people?
A: No. On the contrary, therapy is often for healthy people who want to live healthier lives. Therapy is for people who are dealing with a life situation, family or relationship issue that they wish to discuss and/or process with a professional who can help him or her sort out their thoughts, feelings and options in a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere.
Q:What is Normal in a Relationship?
A: Often times clients confuse “normal” and “healthy”. What is “normal” in many relationships and families is not necessarily healthy. “Normal” is defined by what one is accustomed to, which in many families and relationships is very different from healthy. I can assist you in transforming what is “normal” in your life and in your relationships to what is “healthy”.
Q: I have been abused for so long that I feel like I am “broken” and “damaged”. If I go to counseling, will you be able to fix me?
A: Feeling “broken” or “damaged” and being “broken” or “damaged” are two totally different things. Often it is situations and/or relationships that are not working, not that the person is “broken” or “damaged”. Counselors do not “fix people”. I do not perceive my clients to be in need of fixing, but in need of healing and guidance towards changing broken situations and/or relationships.
Q: I have been a victim of domestic and/or sexual violence/abuse. When will the pain go away?
A: After a trauma, especially one perpetrated by someone that you love and/or trusted, there is no “right” answer as to when the hurting will stop. As the healing process begins, the pain will become less frequent, and begin to ease a little at time, until it is considerably less noticeable or seemingly gone. You may now feel pain now most of the time and seldom feel happiness, but, in time, you will begin to feel a sense of healing and contentment. Just like physical injuries, emotional injuries begin as open wounds that can eventually heal with proper attention and treatment. As you work through the trauma you have experienced with me, and with time, you will be able to remember the trauma in your head (thoughts) with out out feeling the pain of the trauma in your heart.
Q: I don’t know what I should do in my situation. Will you be able to tell me what to do?
A: I am an empowerment-based therapist, giving the power to the client to make all his or her own decisions. I do not and will not make decisions for you. I will advise and guide you. I will help you to make the best decision(s) for yourself, but this is your life and your journey. Where you choose to go on our journey and which road you choose to take, is ultimately and totally up to you. No one else, even a trained professional, has the right to make your life choices for you. Your life….Your journey…. Your choice.
Q: How long will it take for the counseling to work?
A: There is not “right” answer to this question. Like healing, counseling is a process. It takes time. The amount of time it takes varies with the type of problem, the client’s personality and willingness to work, the severity of the problem, the amount of time that the problem has been going on or needed to be addressed, and the quality of the client’s support system, as well as additional personal and situational factors.
Q: If my partner finds out I am going to see a counselor he or she will harm or kill me, what should I do?
A: Safety first. If there are safety concerns related to your physical well being or your children, these need to be and will be addressed first and foremost. Dr. Laura is a credentialed expert in domestic violence which includes assessing lethality and safety planning. Together, you and I will assess the lethality of your situation and create a personalized safety plan to keep you (and your children) as safe as possible at all times.