What is mental health counseling?

Most of us have some exposure to the idea of psychotherapy through pop culture.  We’ve all seen some movie where the star is sitting on a couch, talking to some older guy who just says “mm hmm” while scribbling notes.  Sometimes pop culture gets therapy right but more than not, it gets it pretty wrong.

One reason why it might be hard for Hollywood to get therapy right on screen is that it looks really different depending on the therapist.  Some therapists use very structured approaches with lots of homework.  Some therapy focuses on the here and now, while others will focus on childhood experiences.  Research shows that many different approaches can help bring us improved wellness.  The important part is finding the right fit for you.  Particularly, the right therapist for you.

You might be wondering, well if therapy can look so different, what will I be getting from Jane?

Let’s think of therapy as driving a car.  With me, you will always be in the driver’s seat.  We are driving your car and you know your car best.  I have some great knowledge and experience getting to our destination.  I’ve helped a lot of people get there before.  I will give suggestions on how to best navigate the twists and turns.  I will offer ideas on driving practice for when I’m not in the car with you, because I won’t always be in the car with you.  If you’re not finding benefit from our current path, we’ll change course and find another route that works better.  I understand that there is no one path for everyone.

To achieve this, I tend to focus more on the here and now, although we can revisit the past if it’s helpful.  I collaborate and frequently check in with you on how the therapy process is going.  I tend to use mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy as my theoretical frameworks.