Question: ‘How Will You Help Me?’
The second most popular question that prospective clients like you ask me is, “How will you help me?” I understand; you want to be sure that I will help in a way that is useful for you. It's an important question; you need to feel that the work we can do together will address your problem. Let me outline how I might answer this question for you.
You are you
Firstly, let me say that I respect the uniqueness of your situation. I believe it's critical that when you undertake psychotherapy with me that you are treated as a living, breathing human; rather than merely a diagnosis or collection of problems.
I see many people who are unhappy with the way they have previously experienced psychotherapy or counselling. Their dissatisfaction often revolves around being not truly listened to or understood. Often, they have been led through a systematised treatment that didn't really take their unique circumstances into account.
Distressed, in pain, and deeply unhappy
When people seek out counselling or psychotherapy they are often distressed and in pain. They are often deeply unhappy with the relationships that they have. The last thing they want is the same offhand treatment from someone they have sought out for help. One of the things that people say they find most valuable about the way I work with them is the way I listen to and respond to them as they talk about their problems.
To me, this is essential; it's a key thing that many of us are missing from our early experiences. Not being truly listened to and understood is damaging.
Using my training, knowledge and experience
When I work with you, I bring my knowledge, training and experience of working successfully with a wide range of people. I use this experience in conjunction with what you say you need, to work through your problems in a way that fits your unique circumstances. This will vary from person to person. If we work out that you need more tools to cope with life, then we can work on developing and strengthening those tools; if you need a greater depth of understanding and help working through complex emotional problems, then this is what we'll do through a more in-depth exploration.
Taking the time to understand
I find that us taking the time to understand your history and to get clear about why you are the way you are is enormously helpful for understanding your current difficulties. Surprisingly, some popular cognitive treatment approaches don't value an understanding of our personal history. I think that in overlooking this, we overlook a rich source of material of how you came to be the way you are.
To boil this down to a simple answer to your question, I will work with you sensitively, respectfully and individually so that together we try to find a way through your current difficulties.