For Individuals 

By entering individual therapy, you are giving yourself an opportunity to heal and grow. Increased self-knowledge is guaranteed! 

Some suggestions to help you complete a successful course of therapy:

1. Have the courage to be open. I will not judge you and will do my best to create an environment of trust in which you feel safe to address your issues without shame. I know that you are more than your problem.

2. Before your sessions, think about what you want to address, and during the week between sessions, mull over what we have talked about. Commit to being aware, in and out of therapy.

3. You can't heal what you can't feel. Feelings are tools for tapping into needs and negative conditioning. They often manifest themselves physically (muscular tension, butterflies, fatigue, restlessness, knots in the stomach, headache, rashes) as well as emotionally (sadness, pain, anger, depression). It is important to become very aware of physical sensations and feelings during the week and in therapy sessions and report them.

4. The unconscious is a reservoir of energy and wisdom. It communicates with the conscious mind through dreams and waking fantasies. You will need to pay attention to your dreams and bring striking ones to therapy to talk about. We will do guided meditations and fantasy work in the sessions also.

5. You are on a journey towards self-understanding, wholeness, and better functioning, and it will demand your time, effort and commitment. Therapy is not just 50 minutes a week, nor is it meant to be crisis management. It must be an everyday willingness to learn what makes you tick and to discover the patterns in your behavior. It requires detachment and involvement at the same time. To facilitate the process, you will have homework—some reading and some writing.

6. Changing old patterns can be scary, and so you have to be alert to the defense mechanisms you use to keep yourself in the familiar (though very uncomfortable) places. These can include forgetting, changing the subject, and evasion ("I don't know," not answering the question). Such tactics are clues that something important is going on in the unconscious and so can be used for learning more about yourself.

7. You are infinitely valuable, worth every effort of our combined explorations and insights. Your growth will be primarily for you, but it will also impact those close to you, and ultimately, everyone you encounter.

Bonnie Gilliom, MA, MS
Licensed Professional Counselor | National Certified Counselor
(919) 636–0994 | hopegrowth@bellsouth.net
Psychotherapy for Individuals and Couples in Chapel Hill and Durham