Counseling 101 (FAQs)  


1. There are different kinds of therapy?!?
There is more then one type of counseling. It is not a “one size fits all” model and many times counselors are only trained in one or two types.   Being knowledgeable about what you are looking for can help you find a therapist who is educated to provide the therapy you need.

Below is some of the more popular types of therapy out there:  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Used to explore thinking patterns and the negative behaviors that might accompany them.  The therapist gives the client tools to use to help identify these thinking patterns and also to change them to help create more positive thinking.  Can be very useful if you have a high level of anxiety or depression because it helps decrease the thoughts that can make these symptoms worse.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): Is similar to CBT but places a lot of emphasis on staying present in the moment (mindfulness) and by focusing on the present and not worrying about the future one is able to cope with stressful situations, lower their anxiety and feel more in control of the situation.  DBT is frequently done in a group and has an emphasis on teaching skills and tools to help individuals.  It is really effective for individuals who feel “out of control” and like they are never going to be able to control themselves or the situations around them.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Has a primary belief that our childhood experiences and other early influences are the basis for problems that persist into adulthood such as anxiety and low self-esteem.  The therapist helps the individual looks for patterns in their life and by exploring these patterns the individual becomes enlightened and educated to change them to hopefully decrease the negative symptoms.  This type of therapy really looks for the “root” of the problem and because of that it can last a bit longer.  It can also be helpful for individuals previously diagnosed with a personality disorder.  

Couples Therapy: Usually focused on assisting individuals in a committed relationship.  The couple comes in wanting to learn how to effectively communication and also to learn how to handle tough/stressful times as a team instead of fighting against each other.  The goal of therapy does not always have to be for the couple to stay together.  We have seen many couples starting therapy not knowing where their future will head, or even they have decided to divorce and are now trying to re-build their relationship based on friendship. At LINKtherapy we also see individuals in polyamorous relationships.   

2. How long does Therapy Last?

It can last as long or as short as you see necessary.  Some people go for only a couple of months to fix a specific problem or to assist them in learning skills to decrease depression or anxiety for example.  Others go for a longer period of time to fix longer-term problems or issues.  You are in the drivers seat of your future and there is not a "one size fits all" method of counseling. 

You can also start therapy without having a clear plan, many people come in for one reason and either end up realizing that there are additional things they would like to work on or that with the skills the counselor assists you in learning you no longer need their help. 

3. Who comes to therapy?

Everyone/Anyone! Some people come in to help them cope with times of transition (marriage, birth of a child, new career) and some people come in to cope with a trauma (grief, car accident, etc).  Some clients come in to help them change/improve something negative in their life (addiction, unhealthy relationship, anxiety, depression) and some to explore in a safe environment (sexuality, gender, making a major change potentially). There is a misconception that people have to be "crazy" or non-functioning to come in to therapy and this is incorrect! People from all walks of life and all levels come in and benefit from therapy!

4. What do people get from therapy?

People love having a space JUST FOR THEM! No considering what is going on with your therapist or even what they will think of you! Some people love the accountability, the support and also the second set of ears/eyes to help cllarify/increase insight on a "stuck" issue.  People leave feeling more confident, less depressed/anxious and with tools to help cope with those thing as they "pop" up again.  In Couples therapy partners will leave knowing their communication cycle and how to connect or hyjack that negative communication to get emotional needs met.