What Can I Expect from Psychotherapy?

Every therapy session is unique, just like every individual and therapist is unique. Each person brings something different to the table. Therapeutic protocols vary according to each person and his or her specific goals. Psychologists often discuss your primary issues and your life concerns during therapy sessions. It is common for those undergoing psychotherapy to engage in a series of weekly sessions, with each session lasting around 45-50 minutes.  

Therapy can be administered in the short-term, focusing on one specific issue. Or, it may proceed over an extended time, addressing more complicated matters, or facilitating personal growth. A clinical psychologist may also ask you to take specific actions outside of your therapy sessions, such as reading a help book or keeping a journal to track specific behaviors.  

An individual must process what has been discussed in therapy and integrate what is uncovered into his or her life between sessions. For therapy to be highly effective, the individual must be an active participant during the sessions and beyond. People who seek the benefits of psychotherapy must be willing to take responsibility for their actions, work diligently towards self-change, and create more awareness in their lives. Here are a few things you can expect out of therapy sessions:

  • Greater compassion, understanding, and respect for yourself and others
  • New perspectives that highlight and work to change persistent patterns and negative thoughts or feelings
  • Real-life techniques for enacting positive changes
  • Effective and proven strategies and practical guidance

Medication vs. Therapy

In some circumstances, a combination of therapy and medication may be recommended as the right course of action. Working in tandem with your medical doctor, a clinical psychologist can help determine what the best choice for you is. It is well-established that medication alone cannot provide a viable long-term solution to emotional and mental matters and the pain that comes with them. 

Instead of using medicine to treat the symptoms, therapy can address the underlying cause of your distress and identify the behavioral patterns that challenge your progress. Sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being are best achieved with an integrative approach to therapy and wellness. 

Male vs. Female Therapist

People often wonder if they would have a better relationship and outcome with a male or female therapist. However, clinical research on the traits of therapists and therapy outcomes does not identify any connection between the two. Contributing factors such as empathy and compassion are often related to the result more than to the gender of a therapist. However, the nature of your specific problem and your own preferences may lead you to prefer either a male or a female therapist. 

In actuality, it matters who your therapist is and whether they genuinely make an effort to understand you. It would be best if you focused on finding the right therapist—one who meets your specific therapy needs. Clinical psychologists, like a therapist in Palatine, IL from Lotus Wellness Center, have individual styles and strengths, so the right fit is essential. You are well-advised to set up an appointment time to talk with and interview potential therapy professionals.