What is it?
Psychotherapy is the science of helping people recover from emotional injuries that have shaped their thought and/or behavioral patterns in ways that are maladaptive. These patterns are often at the root of stress and mental suffering. For some, the condition may be self-evident; for others, it may be quite elusive.
Psychotherapy guides clients to identify the sources of their difficulties and understand their current coping strategies. Sometimes, strategies that may have been effective at a younger age can do more harm than good in the present. A therapist’s insight offers clients the space they need to implement fresh strategies so that they might regain a sense of control in their lives. Replacing the old with the new is fundamental to long-term, positive change and, over time, the new patterns become the first response. This is very good news!
Medications, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture have all been shown to improve our mental health; however, when practiced alone, none of these is as effective as psychotherapy. That said, the effects of psychotherapy are strengthened when combined with these other techniques. It is widely accepted that a customized combination leads to the best long-term outcomes.
How long does it take?
For many, psychotherapy is most effective on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for a period of three months to one year. It is likely that a client will begin to feel considerably happier after just three sessions. Those who use therapy off and on over several years continue to see significant improvements in their decision-making abilities, their sense of control over their daily lives, and their interpersonal relationships.
Whether she is working with a group or an individual, Kim’s approach is family-centered: she believes that how we were treated in our family of origin shapes how we think of ourselves and others. The stories we tell ourselves about the past can influence our family relationships in the future. For example, feelings of helplessness may compel us to try to control others who we have very little control over, while feelings of vulnerability may cause us to push people away. Kim shows clients how to make peace with troubling stories and, with time and focus, guide them out the other side where a very attainable, very rewarding transformation awaits.
Depending on clients’ needs and preferences, Kim may implement any of a variety of clinical techniques, including but not limited to motivational interviewing (very non-confrontational and proven to be exceptionally effective in treating addictions), psycho-education, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Kim offers her clients the tools they need to heal, both in the office and out in their daily lives.