Santa Barbara Individual Psychotherapy

Individual Psychotherapy in Santa Barbara

Know Thyself   -  On the Temple of Apollo at Delphi

The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living - Socrates

Why Individual Psychotherapy?

Our western civilization owes a great debt to the Greeks
Our western civilization owes a great debt to the Greeks

Our western civilization owes a great debt to the Greeks. The foundation of our modern science is rooted in the Greek pursuit of knowledge as well as their efforts to more deeply understand human psychology.

The quotes above indicate that the greatest gift we can give to ourselves is a profound understanding and appreciation of the person we are as well as the person we want to become.

In human history there have always been special people to guide and support individual development. Today psychotherapists are key recipients of that tradition, providing a sacred space to learn to "know thyself" at a deeper emotional level.

Individual Psychotherapy
Psychotherapist provides a objective and professional perspective

Although family and friends can be very helpful, most often they have an emotional investment in our viewpoint. A psychotherapist is not emotionally involved in the daily life of a client and therefore offers a more objective and professional perspective that family and friends cannot offer. Also, our family and friends tend to be protective and often feel reluctant to provide the feedback that is necessary for our personal development.

Individual psychotherapy provides a forum to learn new ways to deal with a variety of life challenges and problems. Typically these problems are connected to lack of control or understanding of strong feelings, unpleasant thoughts, or are about relational problems.

Because of the stressors in our daily life and because of time limitations, we often seek quick rather than thoughtful answers to our problems. For instance it is not unusual when a mental health issue emerges during a medical visit with our primary care physician that a medication is prescribed.

The reality is that our primary care physician does not have the time to explore the complexity of the mind and human behavior during a short medical visit. 

In general, clinical research states that psychotherapy is often more effective and long lasting than the utilization of medication and medical treatments alone, particularly when considering the side effects of some of the psychiatric medications.

Psychotherapy provides the quality time, which we may not typically schedule into our busy lives, to examine the state of our mind, our physical health, our relationships, and our spiritual life.

Individual psychotherapy doesn't always have to focus on problems. Individual psychotherapy can also be utilized for personal growth, to assist in building a healthier and more productive life. In this context Individual psychotherapy can lead to "know thyself" at a deeper level which enriches the experience of life, giving deeper meaning to our purpose and "why we are here".

Finding the Right Therapist

Finding the Right Therapist
You Should Feel Comfortable with your Therapist

The key to a successful psychotherapeutic experience is finding the right therapist. It is the relationship between the client and the therapist  that provides the foundation for progress, healing, and change.

That doesn't mean that there will never be disagreements or differing opinions. In fact it is through the strength of the therapeutic relationship that a safe environment is developed in order that open and honest communication can occur. Differing viewpoints will naturally occur and are essential for psychotherapy to be effective.

Commitment to Psychotherapy is Essential

Psychotherapy is a commitment to the experience
Psychotherapy is a commitment to the experience

For individual psychotherapy to work there needs to be a commitment to the experience. In concrete terms this means being consistent to psychotherapy sessions, setting realistic goals, trying new behaviors, and providing ongoing feedback to therapist about your progress or lack of progress.

Discovering your strengths provides the foundation for solving problems
Discovering your strengths provides the foundation for solving problems

People often think that through individual psychotherapy they will discover many negative aspects of their personality. But what is so interesting from my experience as a therapist is the fact that people most often discover their strengths which provide the foundation for solving problems and for their ongoing personal development.  

A goal throughout the psychotherapeutic process is to build on strengths in order for clients to be able to successfully resolve their problems in order to live a productive life.

Is Individual Psychotherapy Effective?

As stated above a person's desire and commitment to psychotherapy is key to the success of treatment.

Psychotherapy is a Journey
Psychotherapy is a Journey
Psychotherapy provides the opportunity to "know thyself"
Psychotherapy provides the opportunity to "know thyself"

Individual psychotherapy has been shown to be highly effective with a variety of mental health issues, i.e., depression, anxiety, sexual difficulties, trauma, thought disturbance et al.

Clinical research indicates that the impact of psychotherapy is long lasting. For instance even after the completion of psychotherapy the results of therapy continue to enhance all aspects of a person's life. The impact of psychotherapy has a lasting affect well beyond the therapy sessions.

Individual psychotherapy provides the opportunity to "know thyself" beyond societal expectations, stereotypes, and the mask we often wear. The best gift a person can give to themselves is a deeper understanding and appreciation of all aspects of their personality. It makes being alive much more satisfying and exciting.

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
Mary Englebreit

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