Perhaps you have come across this letter because you have been considering talking to a therapist. Maybe this is not the first time. Perhaps a concern or problem has come up recently, or maybe there’s an old problem that won’t go away. Maybe it’s been getting worse and worse lately, and you find yourself running out of ways to fight back. Or could it be that this problem has told you that it’s your only friend, promising to give you support and comfort while it actually works to rob you of your life?
I know from my meetings with other people struggling against difficulties in life, that sometimes they are not enthusiastic about seeing a therapist. I'm afraid to say that’s what I am, but I am also someone who is very interested in helping people reclaim their lives from the grip of their problems. I have no intention of scrutinizing you to find the ways you don’t measure up, nor of convincing you to go along with my own ideas or perspectives, nor of converting you into a lifelong patient. Effective therapy is about meeting your needs and attaining your goals, and therapists strive to serve their clients in all aspects of their work.
It can be very difficult to decide whether to reach out to a therapist. It may seem strange to share of yourself with someone you don’t know, who might share little about their story in return. Additionally, the time and expense of therapy can be significant, or they may even seem to be impossibly high costs. These are important considerations, and we at Lantern Lane Farm take them seriously. We aim to provide a welcoming space for our clients, and we work hard to make sure that as many people as possible are able to afford our services.
If you are trying to decide whether to make an appointment with a therapist, I think there might be other considerations worthy of your attention, the kind which can be easily overshadowed by concerns like unfamiliarity or finances. Perhaps it would be helpful to consider these questions:
• If you were to take the step to consult with a therapist, what would you be giving value to in your life? What would that step say about what is important to you?
• If the problem(s) in your life got to vote on whether to take that step, how would it/they vote?
• Sometimes it can be difficult to imagine how therapy may be of help to you. I’ll admit, I often have a tough time describing it in a general way, because the process of therapy holds so many possibilities that simple descriptions tend to be either too limited or too vague. Here’s a starting point though: How might life be different if you had more say in how things go, instead of the problem calling the shots?
• Here’s another question in a similar vein: If a therapist could meet you as a person, instead of as a patient to be cured or a problem to be solved, what would they get to know about you? If you were only a patient in their eyes, what would they miss out on?
If you are ready to meet face-to-face, we would love to hear from you. Any one of us on the team at Lantern Lane Farm would be happy to answer any questions you may have about walking together awhile on the journey.
Aaron Karr, MMFT
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