Category Archives: Demystifying Therapy

Individual Therapy Is About Relationship

In order for individual therapy to be worth your time and effort and money, it has to be more effective than a popular psychology book. Right? Otherwise, you could check a book out from the library, read it, implement the suggestions, and be done. Some of those books have great ideas. Many are written by…

Should You Recommend Your Therapist?

Let’s say you have a therapist you really like and a friend asks if you know of any good therapists. Should you recommend your therapist? The answer is not as simple as it might appear. Here are some questions to consider. How close are you to the person who is in need of a therapist?…

“Do You Have A Specialty?”

When starting my private practice I read a lot of articles about how therapists should market and advertise their practices to attract new clients. One of the most common pieces of advice I read was that it is very important for therapists to have a “specialty,” a “niche,” an area of expertise that sets them…

LGBTQ-Friendly Psychotherapy — Part 2

Beyond the Minimum How can you tell if your therapist truly has expertise in working with LGBTQ* clients beyond the minimum standards discussed in Part 1? If you have a choice between therapists who meet the minimum standards, look for these additional qualifications. Good LGBTQ-friendly therapists are: Open about working with LGBTQ people. Their advertising,…

LGBTQ-Friendly Psychotherapy — Part 1

The Minimum My practice has always had a particular focus on serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ)* communities. Sometimes, I work with clients on issues specifically related to being LGBTQ such as coming out or gender transition/affirmation or dealing with discrimination. More frequently, I work with LGBTQ clients for whom being LGBTQ…

Love Yourself

Lots of people seem to worry about whether a therapist will see something about them as pathological. In my opinion as a psychotherapist, there is nothing inherently problematic about being: Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Genderqueer Asexual Polyamorous Non-monogamous Into kink/BDSM Religious Not religious Fat Of course, there is nothing problematic about lots of things, but…

Therapists and Friends

Top Five Things Your Therapist Can Give You, But Probably Not Your Friends Education on different topics relevant to you. “Homework,” when appropriate. A diagnosis and information about what it means. Attention completely focused on you at a time set aside for you each week. Tissues. (OK, your friends can give you tissues, but are…

Secrets and Lies in Therapy

I am often surprised by how many clients there are who tell me that they have lied to past therapists. Clients usually tell me this as if they are confessing to a past sin. Then it is their turn to be surprised by what I tell them. I tell them that if they need to…

“Behavioral Health” or “Psychotherapy”?

The new popular term for the kind of work I do as a psychotherapist seems to be “behavioral health.” This is a term often used by health insurance companies and, as a result, by agencies providing therapy services. I don’t like it.* What I don’t like about “behavioral health” is that it implies that psychotherapy…

Understanding How to Trust

Do you keep trusting people only to have your trust betrayed? Do people take advantage of you? Or do you find it difficult to trust anyone and prefer to rely only on yourself? Do people think you are paranoid or too suspicious? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes”, you probably never…