In psychotherapy, or “talk therapy”, the therapist and the client create a therapeutic alliance. This is a relationship where the therapist helps you gain better ways to handle your problems. Sometimes the therapist will listen, sometimes they will talk and give guidance. Each session is an opportunity for you to explore new ways to look at your life, and new methods to help yourself and make improvements in your life.

In our modern era, it is socially acceptable to reach out for help for mental and emotional problems, so it doesn’t usually mean you are mentally ill if you attend therapy. Some people do seek out therapy because of longstanding childhood issues they are hoping to get relief about. Many people come to therapy for very specific problem they want help with, or just because of the stresses of a too busy lifestyle. Some come to therapy for marital difficulties, or for an overall feeling of depression or anxiety. The Positive Self Center believes that as conscious human beings we are all seeking understanding and betterment. We all have wisdom and deserve to have inner peace, serenity, self-love and freedom.

Will therapy work for me?

There is never a guarantee for therapy. However, many people make significant and profound changes in their lives and feel that therapy has benefitted them. Sometimes it only takes a few sessions, sometimes longer. It may not be suitable for everyone, but research and clinical experience shows that if people are motivated to change and stay open to the process, therapy proves to be very beneficial.

What if this is my first time in therapy?

Congratulations! Asking for help is not easy and you have taken the first brave step toward living the best version of yourself. Often people reach out for help during a down period in life, so making the phone call/email contact to start therapy can be difficult. Perhaps you normally cope very well with life, but a few things have stretched your coping skills lately. Maybe your children are leaving home, your spouse or parents are ill, or trouble at work or home has put a strain on your patience. Whatever your reason is for reaching out, we can help. Most people find that beginning therapy is not nearly as frightening as they imagined.

How will I feel during therapy?

People in therapy sometimes uncover painful feelings and memories. This may feel good, like burdens are being lifted. It may also stir up discomfort. It’s like lifting a rock that’s been in place for a long time. At first there are creepy crawly things that haven’t seen light for a long time. This can feel unsettling, but ultimately the way has been cleared for new growth to begin. The best thing to do is to tell your therapist about your experiences as you go through the process. Therapy isn’t what you see on television. Meaningful change doesn’t come magically. Sometimes it seems to take forever, and sometimes change is more sudden. Sometimes it’s hard work, and sometimes it is way easier than you thought.

What benefit should I feel afterwards?

Research has shown that therapy is effective in reducing symptoms, improving relationships and self esteem, and some people even improve their income! However, we are all individuals and different people benefit in different ways.

Getting the most out of therapy

Here are some suggestions to help you enrich and speed up your self-discovery and therapeutic journey:


Be gentle with yourself. Practice loving kindness to yourself. Therapy is a process, so lower your expectations about how long change should take. We actually grow faster when we are patient and when we allow ourselves to go slowly.


If you actively participate and put more energy toward your therapy, you will receive more out of the experience. Become a student of personal growth and change. Read on the topic. It will help you to gain awareness. Be accountable for yourself. Show up to your therapy appointments even when you don’t feel like it or feel you have nothing to talk about. Ask for feedback from loved ones. Tell your therapist if you don’t like something they did or said. Ask questions. Keep a journal and start to reflect about your feelings both in and out of sessions. Be mindful of your unique response to things, and be aware of what types of situations or people upset you, feel safe to you, or are uncomfortable for you.

Connect With Others

Seek out friends, acquaintances, or neighbors who also want to change and grow and let go of people who cannot support and accept the new you. Be open to support groups like 12 step meetings, church groups, etc. These can really speed up recovery. It is often easier to see our own issues and solutions when others put a voice to them. You are not alone. Millions of others just like you want to heal and grow, and are actually seeking ways to do so. Self-help is the largest selling category of books by a long shot. Find your compatriots!

Cultivate Hope or Faith in Whatever Method Suits You

If you don’t feel hopeful, speak to your therapist about it. Your therapist can carry the hope for you until you can do it yourself.

Make An Appointment

To schedule an appointment please call (248) 645-5960 or request an appointment online.

Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Ian MacLaren