If you are struggling, you don't have to go it alone.
I am both a clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology. When I teach about psychotherapy in my undergraduate classes, I often joke that people choose to see a psychologist only when the pain of not doing so exceeds the pain of revealing themselves to a perfect stranger. As with many jokes, this one holds a deep truth. It is daunting to think about sharing personal details of life with someone you don’t know. It is my experience, however, that when treatment is approached as a warm and collaborative undertaking, the discomfort eases quickly.
There are the obvious reasons for seeking treatment—depression, anxiety, a personal crisis, work burnout, the loss of a loved one, to name a few. Sometimes people come to treatment to sort out a very specific problem, such as procrastination, or to get unstuck in a particular area of their lives. There are also less clear-cut reasons for psychotherapy—for example, the desire to stop repeating self-defeating patterns of behavior, or to get beyond life expectations that are just not serving needs.
The purpose of psychotherapy is unique to the individual. A successful treatment depends a great deal on sorting out a client’s goals and working together with that client to help them tailor a specific plan to address their needs. The overarching goals of that plan are to develop new tools and strengths to meet life’s challenges, and for many, to forge new insights into emotions and motives and new curiosity about personal narrative.