5 Reasons to Attend Therapy on a Consistent (Weekly) Basis

San Fran Therapy

1. Get what you came for.

You decided to see a therapist for a reason, right? Consistency is key to reaching your goals, especially if you are not a person who wants to be in therapy for years and years. Additionally, it is vital to give yourself at least one hour a week where you can give your worries and stresses a rest and focus on YOU. If now is the time you want to work on yourself- commit!

2. Develop a stronger rapport with your therapist.

It is easier and more likely that you will become more comfortable with your therapist and more apt to opening up in the therapy session if you are meeting with him/her regularly rather than every few weeks. When we trust a person, we often allow ourselves to be more vulnerable, which is exactly what needs to happen for therapy to be effective!

3.  A set, weekly time helps makes therapy an expected part of your routine.

Having infrequent or inconsistent appointments with your therapist can lead to forgetting sessions, or even the feeling that they are less important than something locked into your schedule each week. This can lead to a lack of rhythm or continuity in your work with your therapist, which is not the most effective for your treatment.

4. Avoid cancellation fees.

On the same token, many therapists have late cancellation policies, and if you forget your session (which is much more likely to happen when you don’t have a consistent schedule), you could end up paying for it anyway. Even if you have insurance, they will not cover the cost of a missed session.

5. Going to therapy even when you feel “good” can actually be quite effective.

When we are at our best, we have more resources to deal with long standing patterns or deep personal issues than we do when we are in “crisis” mode. Although it is common for some people to feel less engaged in therapy once their acute symptoms have alleviated, more progress is often made towards longer term goals when a person feels more at his or her baseline.

Couples Counseling

Couples Counseling

Couple’s counseling is based on the premise that individuals and their problems are best handled within the context of the couple’s relationship. Typically, both partners in the relationship attend the counseling session to discuss the couple’s specific issues. The aim of couple’s counseling is to help a couple deal appropriately with their immediate problems and to learn better ways of relating in general.

Couples therapy or couple’s counseling is a useful modality of help for couples who are experiencing difficulties such as repetitive arguments, feelings of distance or emptiness in the relationship, pervasive feelings of anger, resentment and or dissatisfaction or lack of interest in affection or in a physical relationship with one another.1

According to the 2000 Census the majority of American society chose to reside or live with a partner. 52% of US households are maintained by married couples, and there is an increase in the number of couples living together from 3.3 million in 1990 to 5.5 million in 2000.2 Nationwide in 2000, there were 21,000 marriage and family therapists helping couples work through and deal with their relationship issues.3

In a review of the literature through mid-1996, Pinsof, Wynne, and Hambright (1996: Pinsof & Wynne, 1995) concluded that significant data exists support the efficacy of family and couples therapy and that there is no evidence indicating that couples are harmed when they undergo treatment.4

Research outcomes on couples counseling suggest the following:

  • At the end of couple’s therapy, 75% of couples receiving therapy are better off than similar couples who did not receive therapy.
  • Sixty five percent of couples report “significant” improvement based on averaged scores of marital “satisfaction.”
  • Most couples will benefit from therapy, but both spouses will not necessarily experience the same outcomes or benefits.
  • Therapies that produce the greatest gain and are able to maintain that gain over the long amount of time, tend to affect the couple’s emotional bonds and help the spouse’s work together to achieve a greater level of “differentiation” or emotional maturity.5

In determining as a couple what type of therapist that you wish to receive treatment from keep in mind that according to a large-scale survey of over 4,000 Consumer Reports readers showed in 1995, people in therapy generally rated psychologists, clinical social workers, and psychiatrists about as equally effective in helping their clients.6

Couples today feel increasingly isolated and are expected to manage their lives and families without the community supports that in the past were a primary resource in raising children and meeting family needs. Couples in our present culture are less bound by family traditions and are freer than ever before to develop relationships unlike those of the families that they were raised in.7

With the aid of a qualified clinician, couples can bring peace, stability and communication back into their relationship thus affecting their lives and the lives of those most impacted by them and their relationship.

1. Center for Addiction and Mental Health. Couple therapy: Factors influencing a couple’s relationship. Available at www.camh.net/about_addiction_mental_health/couple_therapy_factors.html
2. US Census (2000). Available at http://www.census.gov/
3. US Department of Labor (2000), Bureau of Labor Statistics. Available at http://www.bls.gov/home.htm
4. Friedlander, M. (1997) The scientific basis of couples and family therapy research. Allyn and Bacon: Boston.
5. Wills, R.M (2001) Effectiveness of therapy. Available at http://www.marriagetherapy.org/dssbhmarriage127.html.
6. Consumer Reports (1995) Available at http://www.consumerreports.org/main/home.jsp?source=DG&AFFID=S145MC0
7. Carter B., McGoldrick M., (1989), The expanded family life cycle; Individual, family, and social perspectives. Allyn and Bacon: Boston.

From: http://family-marriage-counseling.com/mentalhealth/couples-counseling.htm

Talk Therapy

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy offers two advantages over medication: no drug side effects and tools you can use for the long term.

“When you take medication, you stop the medication and the problem may come back,” says Michael First, M.D., professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University. “When you have a run of cognitive behavioral therapy, you actually learn a skill. It’s something that sticks with you.”

Going to therapy requires a time commitment, and the insurance claims process might be more cumbersome than with medications. Still, if your plan will pay or you can swing the out-of-pocket portion of the cost, our survey suggests it’s an investment worth making. Of the respondents who visited a mental-health professional for talk therapy, either alone or in conjunction with taking medication, 46 percent said the therapists had made things “a lot better” and 45 percent said they had made things “somewhat better.”

That finding was consistent regardless of whether the person had seen a psychologist, a social worker, or a licensed counselor. Helpfulness scores were somewhat higher for people who had seen a psychiatrist, a medical doctor who can prescribe medication. Of patients who went to psychiatrists, 59 percent received some talk therapy, usually in combination with medication; the rest got only meds. (We also asked people if they had seen psychiatric nurses, practitioners who specialize in mental health and, in some states, can prescribe medications on their own. But only 2 percent of our respondents got their care from nurses, too few to be included in our analysis.) In two states, appropriately trained psychologists have a limited authority to prescribe medications, but in general psychologists typically specialize in talk therapy.

How long and what kind

People who stuck with talk therapy for at least seven sessions had significantly better outcomes than those who went to six or fewer sessions (see Talk vs. Meds vs. Both). What’s more, they scored as high as people treated mostly with medication on our overall outcome scale, which combined respondents’ perceptions of their provider’s helpfulness, satisfaction with their treatment, and change in their self-reported mental-health status after treatment.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, therapy may be a good first step; you can always talk to your therapist about adding medication later if needed. The best-studied talk therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, in which you learn to recognize and change thoughts or behaviors that contribute to your distress. Many therapists practice a hybrid approach that may combine aspects of CBT with other strategies. Some research suggests that the quality of your relationship with your therapist, regardless of the degree on the wall or the style of treatment, is an important key to success. So put your energy into finding a compatible one.

What to do

Our past surveys have shown that people who find a therapist through a recommendation from a friend, family member, or doctor have more success than those who pick someone at random from the phone book or their health plan’s provider directory. If you can’t find one that way, try the online therapist finders at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, or the American Psychological Association, or check with the employee assistance program at your workplace.

When you’re interviewing possible therapists, these questions can help you determine whether it’s a good fit:

  • How much experience do you have treating people with issues like mine?
  • What is your degree, and what state license do you hold?
  • What’s your basic approach to treatment? What sorts of methods do you use?
  • How soon can you see me? (If the situation is critical and the therapist has no openings, ask for a referral.)
  • What are your fees, and do you take my insurance? (For more on payment, see How to pay.)


From: http://family-marriage-counseling.com/mentalhealth/couples-counseling.htm

4 Words to Avoid When Communicating Through a Disagreement

4 Words to Avoid When Communicating Through a Disagreement

When a disagreement arises between you and a loved one, how you choose to communicate your concerns to the other person plays a big role in how constructively or how destructively the disagreement is handled and if the issue brings the two of you closer or creates greater distance in the relationship. Take a look at four words that are best to avoid when communicating, as well as some options for more helpful words to substitute.

ALWAYS– The word always implies that a behavior is permanent, unchangeable and that there have been no exceptions to whatever you are accusing your partner of, and when you say they are always doing a certain behavior it does tend to come across like an accusation. Instead, try often, frequently or even usually. It allows your partner space to change, and that is the first step!

Ex:  Instead of “You always avoid spending time with my family” try “It seems like you often prefer not to spend time with my family when they are around”.


NEVER– This is the same story as always. Never comes across as global, accusatory and unchangeable. Instead, try rarely or seldom.

Ex: Instead of, “You never help me with the laundry”, try “I feel like I rarely get help in doing the laundry”.

BUT– When a listener hears the word but, the tendency is to forget everything that preceded the but, regardless of how positive or warm it was. Instead, try replacing it with the word and. And is usually more accurate in describing what you may be trying to communicate anyhow!

Ex- Instead of “I love you but I am so angry I don’t want to be around you right now”, try “I love you and I am so angry I need to take some space right now”.

– You can seem difficult and tricky to completely avoid in conversation. The main point here is to avoid making “you statements” or blaming statements rather than using “I statements” in which you speak for yourself rather than assigning meaning to your partner’s actions.

Ex- Instead of “You obviously don’t care about me” try “I don’t feel cared about when I am ignored”.