Psychotherapy with Dr. Taitano

What Happens During Therapy
I view therapy as a partnership between us. Psychotherapy is not like visiting a medical doctor. It requires your very active involvement. It requires your best efforts to step out of your comfort zone to make gradual changes in your thoughts, behaviors and feelings. For example, I want you to tell me about relevant experiences, what they mean to you, and what feelings you experience. This is one of the ways you are an active partner in therapy.

I expect us to plan our work together. In our treatment plan we will list the areas to work on, our goals, the methods we will use, and the commitments we will make. I expect us to agree on a plan that we will both work hard to follow. From time to time, we will look together at our progress and goals. If we think we need to, we can then change our treatment plan, its goals, or its methods.

An important part of your therapy will be practicing new skills that you will learn in our sessions. I will ask you to practice outside our meetings so your skills become more automatic and effective in your daily life. You will probably have to work on relationships in your life and make long-term efforts to get the best results. These are important parts of personal change. But most important, I will help you to transform your relationship with yourself, because you will not be able to enjoy healthy relationships with others or with your work or your play until you heal your relationship with yourself. Change will sometimes be easy and quick, but it can also be slow and frustrating, and you will need to keep trying. Therapy can also bring up some painful, difficult feelings. There are no instant, easy cures and no “magic pills.” However, you can learn new ways of looking at your problems that will be helpful for improving your feelings, reactions, and quality of life.

Therapy Timeline
The first one or two sessions will mainly involve answering your questions about therapy and collecting information about you. Usually by the end of our first or second session, I will tell you how I see your challenges at this point, share the approach(es) I believe would be most helpful for you, explain what would be involved, and answer your questions.

Many of my clients see me once a week for 60 minutes for at least 6 months to one year, though others find what they need more quickly. Some individuals coping with histories of prolonged or complex trauma may need to work on recovery for years. When you start to experience significant sustained relief from the problems we identified we will shift to the maintenance phase of therapy to make sure you have the ability to maintain your progress on your own and prevent relapse. Often there is a gradual decrease in frequency of sessions until you feel ready to “fly solo.” The process of ending therapy, called “termination,” can be a very valuable part of our work. Stopping therapy should not be done causally, although either of us may decide to end it if we believe it is in your best interest. If you wish to stop therapy at any time, I will ask that you meet for at least one more session to review our work together. We will review our goals, the work we have done, any future work that needs to be done, and our choices. This is an opportunity to honor our relationship and experience its end in the most caring and healthy way.