Therapy for Adults

Are You Ready for Therapy?

Ten Types of Mental Health Issues

Mental illness is a broad term for a group of illnesses that can affect a person’s thinking, perceptions, mood or behavior. Any mental illness can make it hard for a person to cope with life, work, personal interests, relationships, and other demands. The following is a list of ten relatively common issues:

The most common mental health problems people can face:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Dissociative Disorder
  • Eating Disorder
  • Paranoia
  • PTSD - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Behavioural and Emotional Disorders in Children

If you are experiencing some mental distress, it's important to not self-diagnose yourself. What you may incorrectly think is something horrific and overwhelming might just be addressed with some sound advice. On the other hand, the difficulties that brought you to this site might need some significant therapeutic help.

Karen Gardner is here to help you get answers and healing.

Signs That Therapy May Be of Benefit To You
  • Abuse – Physical, Sexual, Verbal
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Being secretive
  • Crying often or for long periods
  • Death or loss of a loved one or pet
  • Defiance
  • Depression
  • Destroying things
  • Difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks
  • Eating issues – not eating or over-eating
  • Family conflict – arguments, violence, divorce, etc.
  • Increased irritability
  • Isolating
  • Lying
  • Making self deprecating comments
  • Meltdowns
  • Obsessing or worrying often
  • Overly busy
  • Peer pressures
  • Power struggles
  • Procrastination
  • Self-harming – cutting, scratching, hitting, etc.
  • Stealing
  • Trouble with friends or no friends
Nine Types of Mental Health Therapies
  • EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • DNMS - Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • CBT - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Group Therapy
Should You Work with Karen Gardner?

It's a fairly common practice - if you break a bone, cut yourself and need stitches or get a major infection - you seek the advice of a medical professional. It's not quite so common to ask for help when you feel depressed or anxious or are feeling the effects of abuse.

If you are considering scheduling a session with a mental health counselor, take confidence in your thinking and make the appointment. Lots of people get to this position and hesitate to move forward. Making the decision and taking action are two of the hardest parts; experiencing therapy firsthand makes the effort worthwhile.

So what is it that keeps people from seeking help for their mental health issues that are as treatable as physical ones? It seems to be one or more of the following:

  1. Fear of the unknown. Fear that there might be something truly wrong. Fear that other issues might arise that will have to be dealt with.
  2. Lack of trust in the trade. Lack of understanding of the therapeutic process. Lack of confidence that anything can help.
  3. Shame of needing counseling. Concern for what others might think. The stigma that therapy is for the weak and the crazy.
Don't Fight the Feelings

Fear of the issues, lack of understanding, anxiety, and stigma are real concerns, and there are simply no easy ways to get past them without delving into the actual therapeutic process. Learning about YOU and shining light on problems is difficult, but the journey of self-discovery and healing are will bring more happiness.

Don't fight the feelings you are having; they are a normal part of the process. The fact you are reading this is a positive sign you are on the right path. If you choose to continue doing the same things you've always done, you also choose to experience the same results. So choose now to seek help.

What to Expect from Therapy

You are at the point of considering therapy because something about your thoughts, feelings, or behaviors is causing you concern. These issues may be causing problems in your relationships or negatively affecting your life - which is where a therapist can help you sort these things out and provide counsel, tools, and comfort.

Most individuals who find themselves at this point have some general idea of what is going on in their lives – they feel depressed, anxious, overly emotional, manic, etc. Examples of these types of symptoms are prevalent in the world and information is easily accessible on the Internet and in the media – which allows many people to self-diagnose long before they ever get professional help. Self-diagnosing can be good and bad. Good, if it leads to actually getting help. Bad, if the self-diagnosis is incorrect and creates unnecessary distress and worry.

Your First Session

Counseling sessions are typically 45 minutes, though sometimes your first session lasts longer. The first visit (called an intake session) is usually used by the therapist to gather important background information. Before your first visit, you will fill out several forms and assessments. This paperwork and information gathered during the intake session, helps your therapist quickly get to know you and creates a benchmark to measure your progress in the future.

Your first visit is primarily a fact-finding session, where you will answer a question like, "So, tell me why you're here?" You will be encouraged to share your history and your story. Plan on being as straightforward, honest, and detailed possible. Good therapists will not judge you or to show you how messed up you are. Their primary jobs are to listen to you, get to know you, and counsel you. Don't try to out-think them or play mind games. If you share openly and trust the process, you will find healing sooner rather than later.

In your session, try to focus on the details of your life and current issues that are most important to you and come to mind the quickest. Plan on being asked about your childhood and other significant relationships. With only 45 minutes, you are sure to leave things out. Don't worry about this because during your next session, your therapist will help you pick up where you left off. The goal is to help your therapist get to know you.

After Your First Session

If you're like most people, you will leave your first session with mixed feelings. You will have feelings of relief, peace, and hope – that you are on the road to healing. You may also have feelings of confusion, distress, and anxiety – as you begin to face some very big issues in your life. Most people who begin the psychotherapeutic process appreciate the experience and enjoy their time with a therapist. These feelings are partly because therapy is an opportunity to explore new and healthy ways of thinking, feeling, and living.

All the while the therapist is learning about you and your issues, she is formulating an initial diagnosis for your problem(s). This assessment is important because an accurate diagnosis forms the basis for a treatment plan. Among other things, the treatment plan includes combining psychiatric care, the use of medication, various forms of assessment and measurement, and therapy.
The diagnosis (and sometimes the treatment plan) are necessary elements of your care that insurance companies require to reimburse you. Commonly, the therapist will not make a formal diagnosis until after a few sessions. As they get to know you, it's also common for a therapist to change or modify your diagnosis.

Plan on Working

Schedule time to debrief each therapy session and ponder your experiences, fears, and concerns. Take the homework and reading assignments you recieve seriously. Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings, as well as questions that your therapist could answer.  Ask for specific tips and strategies to help your unique situation.

Be open to the recommendations and feedback you receive. Learn to trust your intuition when inspiration makes itself known, then be fearless in your actions. By seeking help and incorporating it into your life, you will move through the tough times more easily - toward happier, healthier times.

woman considering therapy

“God cares a lot more about who we are and about who we are becoming, than about who we once were.” - Dale G. Renlund

Testimonials From Adults