Common Issues Addressed in Therapy
Articles and Creative Writing by Joan-Dianne Smith
The Fine Print
Making a Referral
Who comes for therapy?       People of all ages, life stages, social and ethnic groups come for therapy. Many find themselves overwhelmed or stressed at certain points in their life, and in my opinion we all need help from time to time. Therapy provides a private space to reflect and talk things over without being judged. People approach a therapist when they are feeling burdened with anxieties, depression, guilt or with difficulties in their relationships, family life or at work. Sometimes current problems touch nerves from earlier experiences. Sorting through layers of these issues can assist a person to find peace of mind and have a more satisfying life.
How does it work?       Therapy works by taking time outside your daily life to speak with a neutral, non-judgmental person trained to understand, listen, and explore the issues. Rather than giving advice, I encourage clients to think through the situation for themselves. Sometimes being curious about and exploring the relationship as it develops between the client and me contributes to understanding the issues at the heart of the conflicts or concerns.
Are you considering personal therapy?       Most people take some time to decide about therapy and many are concerned about cost, inconvenience and confidentiality. Sometimes people feel a sense of shame or worry that seeking help may be a sign of weakness or that they should be able to sort things out on their own. In fact, the reverse is true. We all need help at some time in our lives and in my opinion, getting support should be seen as a positive step, rather than just waiting and hoping things will get better. It takes a lot of strength and courage to be able to speak openly about deeply personal matters. Therapy can truly be life altering and prevent years of repeating old patterns and continuing unhappiness. It helps people become more self-aware and assertive, it broadens their understanding, and helps them tolerate emotions and become more self confident. *See the ‘Making a Referral’ link.
Joan-Dianne Smith MSW, RSW, FCGPA       I am a clinical social worker and a trained group therapist. I mainly work with individual adults, couples, and small groups. People come to see me for many different reasons, and I try to get to know and understand each situation and find the approach that works. My original training was in Ontario and Massachusetts. Over the years I’ve come to understand that this type of work requires life long learning and development and so I continue to grow and evolve as a therapist.