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Starting therapy – The First Step  (blog post 3/31/11)
by Lisa Catania, LCSW

When I first meet a new client, I often reflect on how brave they are to make the step into the therapist office. Some people come into therapy because they see it as a spa-like experience. They sink into the chair and enjoy expressing, exploring, feeling heard and finding a new perspective. However, most people come into therapy because they are in a place of crisis, often pain, and therapy is their last resort. To let yourself be vulnerable with a stranger is hard, but overcoming stigma can make it even harder.

Many say they thought of seeking help sooner, but saw therapy as a sign of weakness, failure, or lack of faith. Others comment about the risk of opening up, being misunderstood, and feeling worse in the process. Add to this, many have heard disparaging or dismissive comments about emotional concerns throughout their lives, such as: “What’s wrong with you?!! You must be nuts!” or “just let it go, you’re being a downer”. No doubt, it takes courage to make the call and reach out for help.

I always see a strength and a fortitude in the person who walks over that threshold of fear and humility. It takes a hidden strength to ask for help and to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Asking for help is the first step in a journey that leads to new destination and better outcome.

What I find is that when clients find a therapist whom they can trust, feel comfortable with, and feel a sense of hope in the therapist’s expertise, that they transform into that client that sinks into the chair, opens up and begins to see the possibilities of hope and change.

Look at our therapists’ profiles and request a phone consultation with any of the therapists before you come in.

Or, you can call us at 773-310-3488 and talk directly to an experienced therapist who will assist you in finding a therapist whom best meets your needs.

We are always happy to provide you with a free 15 minute phone consultation.

Carpe diem: Seize the day. 

Call today!

 

Lisa Catania

Lisa Catania

Lisa has been a psychotherapist since 1993.  She has maintained a private practice for over 20 years, and is a co-founder of Beverly Therapists.  Previous to providing therapy at our current location for 15 years, she taught and trained staff at a therapeutic day school and worked in community ...

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Pat Harthun

Pat Harthun

Each of us has times of change and uncertainty in our lives. Sometimes, we can figure it out on our own. At other times, we seem to get stuck in the same patterns that don’t work. I believe that therapy takes place on several levels. Sometimes the work needs to be done with the client ident...

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Jennifer Lara

Jennifer Lara

In a world of constant transitions, at times it is challenging for us to feel settled with change. I believe therapy is an outlet to discuss, explore, and change aspects of our lives that are causing distress. Everyone has the ability to cope with life changes, and therapy allows a supportive, no...

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Aida Pigott

Aida Pigott

It has been said our lives are forever changed when someone we love dies. The memories of how they took their final breath continue to be etched in our minds, even when the separation has long passed. We are the bereaved, the mourning, the vulnerable. We are hit by waves of painful emotions we ma...

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Bonn Wade

Bonn Wade

You feel stuck. You may feel unsure of how to move forward. Navigating life transitions is not always a straight-forward road and it helps to have a road map and at times, a traveling companion. The truth is that all people have moments in life when they need the support of a trusted person who c...

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Marsha Brock

Marsha Brock

I understand that going to a counselor is a brave step and that reaching out to someone is a success in itself. By creating a safe and empathetic environment in which to explore thoughts, feelings and behaviors; I use a holistic and strengths-based approach towards creating a more positive experi...

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Christina Sprayberry

Christina Sprayberry

Through open mutual dialogue we will work together to co-create a unique therapy experience based on your strengths and needs. I hope to provide the support, reflection, skills and resources that will help you attain what you need and meet your goals. Self awareness is best balanced with compassi...

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Miriam L. Sullivan

Miriam L. Sullivan

We all experience events, moments, and feelings that are too much to bear alone, and we all should have a safe, judgement-free space where we can regain focus and strength. One should have the means to vent about daily struggles, regain confidence through skill building, strengthen relationships ...

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Kanosha Leonard

Kanosha Leonard

I am currently completing my doctoral degree of Counselor Education and Supervision at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  After such a tumultuous time in the program my colleagues and I published an article highlighting the experience of African American women in academia.  As a mo...

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Carla Porter-White

Carla Porter-White

People are in a constant state of growth in reaction to daily life experiences, sometimes in a positive direction and sometimes in a negative one.  I became a mental health counselor because I am fascinated with how people navigate and control this process.  It is amazing to see the power of th...

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Jennifer A. Baker

Jennifer A. Baker

The decision to begin a therapeutic journey can be daunting, yet richly rewarding. I strive to create a safe, collaborative, and supportive space to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your experiences and personal dynamics to promote a more balanced and fulfilling life. I am committed to a ...

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Pete D Hardy III

Pete D Hardy III

My beliefs are that people hold the keys to their own healing and addressing of the trauma in their lives.  You have to be the driving force and navigator behind the pursuit of a healthy mind, body, and spirit.  The act of being not only heard but understood is healing in-and-of itself, however...

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Crystal Balfour

Crystal Balfour

My work with clients is a deeply humbling experience. Whether I’m working with a child, a teen, or their parent, I am aware that their decision to seek support communicates courage and trust. My goal is to facilitate a space where your child can be their authentic self and feel empowered to tac...

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Jim Peltzer

Jim Peltzer

Internal struggles, relational issues, adjustments, anxiety, or other life challenges, may be our reason for seeking out counseling.  Pursuing counseling is an excellent first step; you can do this! No matter what age – grade school through retirement age – you do not have to encount...

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Shavaughn Carey

Shavaughn Carey

Regardless of the environment in which we live our daily lives, change is constant.  Change can sometimes bring about unsuspecting challenges, particularly when managing care for yourself and others within the family unit.  These times can be difficult to navigate alone. Having support and prof...

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Claude King

Claude King

It is an extremely courageous step to reach out for therapy. I truly appreciate you reaching out for guidance and it is something that I do not take for granted. I provide psychotherapy utilizing a relational, collaborative, client-centered approach. The fundamental basis of any relationship is c...

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Robert Yata

Robert Yata

One of the biggest challenges when beginning therapy is the willingness to begin. However, once there, we will work together to be as honest and aware of what is happening to gradually shift narratives that perpetuate suffering. Therapy is not dependent on one life event or one aspect of a person...

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Erica Steenbergen

Erica Steenbergen

The distance between any two people can be defined by their understanding (or misunderstanding) of one another.  My job as a relationship therapist is to help people close the distance created by a lack of understanding in th...

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Beverly Therapists

Beverly Therapists