A recent survey by the American Psychological Association indicated that nearly one third of U.S. adults have elected to seek out professional help at some point in their life, for a variety of reasons. Therapy provides a confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere that facilitates exploration and awareness of issues that someone would like to see changed in their life. Common problems include: difficultly with relationships, grieving a trauma/loss, intense anxiety, intimacy issues, obsessiveness, persistent stress, phase of life problems, resentments, separation/divorce, and situational depression, among others.
Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements and depends on the personalities of the psychologist and client, as well as the particular problems that are presented. Participation in therapy can result in a number of benefits, most specifically the resolution of specific concerns that led you to seek therapy. Active involvement, honesty, and a willingness to look at your core beliefs (which manifest themselves in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors) are necessary components for change.
While some people feel their problems will pass, or that support of family and friends is enough, others may close themselves off and isolate, thus worsening their emotional state. Individual therapy can be essential in dealing effectively with problems that are outside the scope of our immediate resources. Treatment goals are chosen by the client, and most people find that not only do they achieve their goals, but they also achieve an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. They overcome barriers that stood in the way of living purposefully and gain better control over their lives. Therapy can help with the expression of feelings in a more calm and effective way, with increased feelings of intimacy and connectedness in relationships, with the overall reduction of emotional tension, with a better capacity for decision making, with healthier boundaries and independence, and with improved intellectual and cultural orientations.
During the course of therapy, Dr. Sellwood will draw on various psychological approaches according to the problem that is being treated and her assessment of what will best benefit you. These approaches include cognitive-behavioral, family systems, developmental, humanistic, interpersonal, and psycho-educational. Dr. Sellwood has a comprehensive understanding of theories of personality, learning, and development, and that is crucial for successful treatment. She understands that the first step to change is deciding to take responsibility and committing to this act, which is quite courageous. When we begin to acknowledge and express our true feelings, even when doing so is uncomfortable, we can begin to explore our core beliefs and positions to understand what really matters in our lives.