Centro Castillo para Bienestar Personal y Familiar
What To Expect

What is Psychotherapy?


Psychotherapy is a one-to-one professional relationship between a therapist and yourself. Its purpose is to provide the support and encouragement necessary to enable a person to talk about the experiences and events that have affected that person’s life and thus, his or her way of understanding and acting in the world. It is the role of the therapist to offer a safe and confidential space to allow a person to explore and express his or her thoughts and feelings. The goal of talking with a therapist is to gain insight regarding the issues that are causing you distress. Therapy is most effective if it addresses both your current problems and deeper underlying issues. With new insight a person can then better understand why they feel bad, help themselves heal the pain, manage his or her day to day activities better and make positive changes in his or her lives.



What happens in the first session?


You’ve made the first step and scheduled your first session for psychotherapy. There are a few things you can expect from your first session. Even though you may feel nervous or scared, it is important to relax and be open and honest with your therapist from the beginning. Your first session with the therapist will be different from future visits. The first session is an evaluation where the therapist will ask you a variety of questions to get a general idea of the current problem but also about your life in general. Questions may cover such things as your childhood, education, relationships (family, romantic, friends), your current living situation and your career. You may discuss the length of your treatment, the style of the therapist, and patient confidentiality as well. The therapist will also devote some time to discussing his or her policies regarding fees, cancellations, vacations, insurance, etc. You will be asked if you have any questions. Keep in mind that psychotherapy is an ongoing process so don't expect to solve your problems the first day.


How long do I need to attend?


How much time therapy takes varies from person to person because each person’s life experience is unique, so length cannot be predicted. It can vary from a few weeks up to a few months or longer. Most people feel some benefit even after a few sessions. As you change, the focus of therapy may change, therefore we will talk about your process along the way. Ending therapy is discussed and planned in advance.



Finding the best fit

It’s important for you to feel heard and understood by your therapist, thus you must find one that fits with your needs and your comfort level. This can take time and at times can take speaking with several therapists to find the best fit for yourself.



Psychologist versus Psychiatrist


There is a difference between the type of treatment these doctors provide. Psychologists provide more long term talk therapy to address your current thoughts, feelings, and problems. Psychologists are also trained to use psychological testing is addition to talk therapy. Testing adds additional information about you and helps the psychologist put together the best possible treatment plan. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who primarily deal with medication management. Typically they do not engage in talk therapy with their clients but see them only briefly to discuss medications for symptoms related to anxiety, depression, etc.


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