Why Does My Therapy Lead to Successful Outcomes?
According to research, 10,000 hours of intensive practice/skill building leads to mastery of a craft. Bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell, discusses this in depth in the book, Outliers: The Story of Success. With over 20 years of experience and a voracious reader on all things mental health by the industry leaders, I have surpassed these 10,000 hours and continually and consistently learn and grow.
I am very laser focused with my treatment. With the complexities of life and numerous issues most people experience at any given time, becoming distracted in session is an easy pitfall many therapists may fall into. Attempting to address all of a client’s issues/problems at once results in inefficiency and years in therapy, often with little movement.
I am very skilled at defining your goals (more difficult than you may think) and helping you to overcome self-limiting beliefs and identifying all secondary gains that are preventing you from achieving your goals.
Think of it this way… You have a three-bedroom house that you need to pack up and move. Which option is the best use of your time?
1. You start packing a bedroom and find an old photo album that you begin to thumb through. You notice an envelope of photos that you had intended to mail to a relative. You decide you better mail this before you pack everything up, so you momentarily stop packing to mail this envelope. You go to the office to retrieve the stamps and see that you need to organize your office, which is full of papers that need to be disposed of. So, you abandon the bedroom to work on the office. You rationalize that it doesn’t matter that you changed rooms because the entire house needs to be packed. You are making progress, but are unable to find the packing tape, so you retrace your steps back to the bedroom. On the way to the bedroom, you realize you need more boxes, so you head to the living room where the boxes are located. But while you are there, you see a dish on the coffee table that needs to be washed. You take this dish to the kitchen and decide you will start boxing up the nice dishes that you rarely use. You fill a box but can’t find that roll of tape again, so you re-trace your steps to the living room, office, and back to the bedroom. The story continues from room to room. You may even find yourself walking in circles feeling overwhelmed. Sound familiar?
2. You develop a well thought out plan of the order the rooms will be packed. You go to the first room to be packed up, take enough boxes to complete the room, and work on this room until it is completed. You see the photo album and while you are tempted to open it, you do not, as you are focused on one thing - getting this room packed. Since you do not leave the room, you do not spend time looking for the tape. You complete this room and move onto the next room on your list.
Which scenario is the most efficient? That is how I structure my therapy – tackling one thing at a time. The great thing about therapy is that when we are working on one issue, the other issues often start improving at the same time, it’s interesting that way. There are times when something unexpected may occur such as a death, divorce, or other tragedy that takes precedent over what we are currently working on. In that case, we simply re-define our goal and pivot. Our focus will then be on the new issue until we have reached a resolution.
For example, say your goal is to “be more confident”. That is not a clearly defined goal, so we will dig deeper so that you will know exactly what “more confident” will look and feel like. Because, if you don’t know where you are going? How will you know when you get there?
Let’s say that you have defined more confident as “I will be able to ask someone out on a date”. That is a clear and definable outcome. Your self-limiting belief may be, “I’m not interesting enough for someone to want to go on a date with me”. We will tackle the origin of this negative belief and change the narrative. Your secondary gain of not achieving your goal may be, “If I don’t put myself out there, I won’t be rejected/embarrassed/etc. and stay safe from uncomfortable feelings”.
When we work on this one target of asking someone on a date, the other areas of your life where confidence plays a role, will improve at the same time.
What Therapy with Me Looks Like
1. You complete the intake paperwork, which provides me with information about what you are expecting to get out of therapy and your presenting issue. The paperwork also includes insurance information and the required health-related documents.
2. We complete a very thorough assessment. This may take up to two or more sessions. This is where I ask you what I call, the nosey snoopy questions. You are encouraged to ask questions along the way so that you feel comfortable with the process.
This is a very important step because it allows me to see patterns, identify past trauma or wounding, and obtain your history. Your past experiences will provide us with useful insight for your therapy.
Don’t worry, this isn’t as cold as it may sound. I temper the information gathering phase with human connection and relationship building. It is highly important that we develop a positive working relationship.
3. We develop clear and specific goals and an action plan.
4. We will likely complete a psychological personality test, the NEO-PI-3. This is an evidence based and thoroughly researched personality assessment, of which, I am certified to administer. This will provide us with a robust amount of information about you. From this, we will easily ascertain your strengths, which we will capitalize upon for the achievement of your goals.
5. We start working to resolve and heal your initial wounding and/or trauma. I have a variety of therapy modalities that I will customize to your specific needs.
6. Once this is healed, we laser focus on your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions