Frequently Asked Questions About Therapy

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about therapy from the experts at My LA Therapy

The basic task of therapy is to make you aware of that which is beyond your awareness that may be causing damaging patterns in your life that you don’t know how to change. When we have unaddressed issues, they tend to rule our lives in ways we don’t understand and often can’t even see. When the unconscious is running our lives it can wreak havoc on our lives and mental health, causing everything from work and relationship problems, to anxiety, depression, and addiction issues. Healing our unconscious wounds allows us to make peace with our relationship to our past, to others, and to ourselves. In short, we face our fears so they no longer rule us. As we bring the unconscious into conscious awareness, we become more empowered, awake, and alive.

Therapy can help you become more peaceful, grounded, and confident as you work through the underlying issues that may be contributing to your anxiety, depression, relationship issues and other mental health struggles. Therapy allows you to explore who you are without judgment: to be totally uncensored and unfiltered so you can explore and integrate aspects of yourself that you might not feel comfortable sharing with others. Therapy can help create a greater sense of vitality as you reconnect with the parts of yourself that may have become numb and disconnected. Through therapy, you can learn more empowered ways to communicate, develop practices to cultivate self-love and confidence, and learn practical skills to help you overcome and heal your trauma and mental health problems.

The benefits of therapy are also specific to your situation and goals and we tailor our interventions to your unique needs and desired outcomes. The list could go on for days, but a few examples of the benefits of therapy are: to free yourself from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, to gain greater clarity and direction, to discover potential blindspots that are preventing you from evolving into who you want to be, to identify and transform unhealthy patterns that keep popping up, to create more meaningful relationships (romantic and beyond), heal your trauma, and to enhance your quality of life overall by developing new ways of relating to yourself and your life.

  • Finding a therapist is a lot like dating. Sometimes it can take time to find the right fit for your specific needs. You should have a brief, initial consultation call with your prospective therapist to determine if they’re a good fit for you. 
  • Watch our founder talk in greater depth about the most important things to look for in a therapist and why by clicking here. 
  • The top 3 most important things to look for in a therapist are:
    1. First and foremost, you feel safe and understood. This is foundational for any deep and effective therapeutic work. You can’t go to the deep places you need to go in order to heal if you’re feeling judged or uncomfortable. 
    2. Second, they can speak intelligently about their work and how it works. They should be able to articulate how their methodology will help you in a way that you understand and that resonates with your experience and needs. 
    3. Finally, they need to challenge you. Often therapists are very supportive and understanding, but they don’t offer the feedback and active interventions that challenge you to grow. You should feel like your therapist is understanding while also lovingly pushing you to see things you don’t already see and approach situations in new ways. 
  • Some other things to consider when selecting your therapist:
    1. Good communication skills
    2. Mutual willingness to work with you
    3. Someone who you can relate to (some factors include gender and age)
    4. Unique specializations (e.g. addiction, OCD, chronic illness, eating disorders, etc.)

The two most important things to do to get the most out of therapy are to be open to feedback and to be clear about your goals. Therapy is a collaborative process and you and your therapist will work together to create a plan that helps you expand your self-awareness, alleviate your mental health concerns, and find greater clarity and hope. Having clear goals and being open to feedback that pushes you out of your comfort zone are crucial factors in getting the most out of therapy. It’s important to understand that facing our fears and being uncomfortable are foundational parts of healing and self-transformation. While therapy can be painful and scary, the courage to face our fears and push ourselves beyond our ordinary ways of operating creates resiliency, vitality, and freedom, allowing us to become who we want to be.

Like anything else in life, the chances that you’ll succeed are directly related to your commitment, desire, and efforts. If you follow the steps above to find the right therapist, create clear goals, and stay open to feedback, you’ll have the best shot of getting the help you need. The more committed you are to showing up and making changes to your life, the more likely you will be to create the transformation and healing you seek. While there are no guarantees, there is a large body of research that shows specific therapeutic modalities are proven to help with specific mental health conditions and relationship problems. But your personal experience will depend on how committed you are to bettering yourself and your life.

How you feel when you finish therapy will depend on your specific goals. Some people just want to get from suffering unbearable anxiety to being able to feel they can handle life’s difficult moments in a healthier way. Others want to bring their lives to the next level to create confidence, inner peace, and resiliency. Still others want to engage in a lifelong process of self-transformation and ever-deepening consciousness. Like anything else in life, what you put in will determine what you get out. How you will feel at the end of treatment depends on your specific goals and drive and how dedicated you are to working on yourself to achieve them.

There’s no set end date for therapy but there’s no obligation and you can stop whenever it feels right for you. Everyone’s journey and treatment plan plays out differently and the timeline depends on a wide range of factors including what issues you are addressing and how quickly you make progress. We offer both short-term and long-term therapy, and we tailor our approaches to what you’re looking for. Our therapist can determine which approach is right for you once you start working together.

It all comes down to finding the right therapist. Just because you had a less-than-stellar experience before, doesn’t mean your next one won’t be amazing! It’s a lot like dating. You can’t write off dating as a whole because of one bad date. Just like any other profession, there are good therapists and bad therapists. Finding the right one is really what will determine what will make your experience different (see above for most important things to look for in a therapist). Our therapists are heavily vetted and highly experienced, which will make your changes of finding the right fit a lot easier. We will meet you wherever you are in your healing journey and customize your therapy to address your unique needs because we realize there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Typically therapists offer a brief, initial consultation call to give you an opportunity to see if they are the right match for you prior to scheduling a session. Depending on your therapist, this may be up to 15-20 minutes. Use this call to ask your potential therapist questions and allow them to get a sense of who you are, what your goals are, and what you are struggling with (see “Top 3 Things to Look for in a Therapist” video by clicking here). Don’t forget to discuss fees and other logistical information such as scheduling and location. If you have any hesitations about starting therapy in general, don’t be afraid to be open about that as well. Your potential therapist can address any doubts and help put your mind at ease.

How your initial therapy session goes depends on your therapist, your goals, and the modality the therapist is using. Typically, therapists will use your first session to gather your history, and explore your struggles, and establish your treatment goals. Your therapist will meet you wherever you are on your journey (novice or expert), and will respect your level of comfort in sharing personal issues right off the bat.

The logistics of therapy are referred to as the “frame.” While this may vary from therapist to therapist depending on their approach, the standard frame is a 50-minute session once per week. You and your therapist might decide together that you need more or less frequent sessions based on a variety of factors such as the severity of what you’re going through, cost, and availability. Every therapist has a different approach so your consultation phone call is a good time to get a better sense of their particular style, cadence, and treatment frame.

Nope. But you can if you want to. Typically you will be sitting on a couch or chair across from your therapist.

Not necessarily. If there’s value in exploring your childhood, your therapist will let you know. You will never be forced to talk about something that makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s all about responding to your needs, preferences, and what is most helpful for you.

We are out-of-network providers. Please visit the insurance page for more detailed information about how out-of-network insurance benefits work.

Therapy fees vary from provider to provider. When you fill out the questionnaire form, you can select the fee range that is comfortable for you and we will assign you to a therapist who offers rates within your desired fee range.

Ready to level up your life?