Ask a Denver Therapist
How Does Therapy Work?
“How can just talking about things make me feel different?”
This is a question that I hear a lot. It’s a good point! We all know people who can talk about their problems endlessly and never make any changes. At the end of the day, talking is not enough — you do need to take action in order to change your life.
However, as we all know, that is often harder than it sounds. Growth is a process. The talking that we do in therapy helps you gain self awareness, have new experiences, and learn new skills. Your therapist is not just a listener, he or she is a teacher too — teaching you the skills and new ways of thinking that will allow you to change.
This work is often the pre-requisite to being able to take meaningful, effective action. Without going through the growth process that changes you on the inside, any action you take isn’t likely to “stick” and you may fall back into your old patterns. Let me tell you more about how exactly this process unfolds…
Dr. Bobby is the host of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, and the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love.”
The Phases of Therapy
Generally, there are distinct phases to therapy. I like to use the metaphor of gardening to help people understand the process.
Preparing the Soil
In the first phase, you will establish a relationship with your therapist. During this time your therapist will get a sense of who you are and what is going on with you. You will get used to talking about yourself in a safe, open environment. As you connect with your therapist and come to trust your relationship with them, you can begin to talk more openly and allow new parts of your experience to come into your awareness.
The therapeutic relationship you have together becomes a transformational space. This time is like preparing the soil to make it ready for seeds to be planted.
In the second phase of therapy, your awareness about yourself and your experience will continue to develop. Your therapist has many techniques and strategies for helping you to gain awareness. You will access feelings, thoughts and images that will help you understand yourself in new ways. You’ll make contact with your strengths, hopes, motivation, and feelings. Based on a deep understanding of yourself, a course of action will begin to come into focus. You’ll explore all opportunities, and your therapist will start teaching you new skills. You will start learning what you need to do to grow. It is during this time that the seeds of change are planted.
When you’re ready, you will start to experiment with new behaviors. Guided by a better understanding of yourself, you can practice new ways of being that reflect your authentic feelings, needs and aspirations. During this third phase of therapy you might start experimenting with new skills for managing your thoughts or feelings, handling old situations in a new way, and doing things differently than you have in the past. Your seeds of change are now growing. You are blooming into the person you want to be. Your therapist’s role is to help you nurture and support the growth that is now occurring.
Ultimately when you take positive action on your own behalf, your life will change. Actively working to change your feelings, thoughts and behaviors ushers in the wonderful harvest season of your personal growth. During the final phase of therapy you will experience the fruits of your work. You may feel happier, and more satisfied with your life — because you are having positive, successful experiences that reflect your growth.
Your relationship with your therapist will end when you are confident in your ability to continue moving forward on your own. However, you can always get in touch with us in the future for additional support. We often have many “growing times” throughout our lives, and times when a relationship with a therapist is immensely helpful.
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Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC
"Hi, I'm Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby. For over a decade, I've been helping people all over the world create Love, Happiness and Success in their lives through positive, compassionate and effective Marriage Counseling, Therapy and Life Coaching. I'm so pleased to be able to help you, too. There is help for you here, and I'm glad you've found us.
This website is devoted to your wellbeing, and offers loads of free information and actionable advice that you can start using today to create positive change in your life. Browse around to educate yourself about your options, read some articles, listen to a podcast, or sign up for a free online training. Or, if the time is right, you can schedule a free consultation with any of us to talk about your situation -- and, most importantly -- your hopes for your future." -- Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
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Anastacia Sams, M.A., LMFTC
“Hi, I’m Anastacia. I'm a Couples Counselor, Individual Therapist, and Life Coach with years of experience in helping people heal and grow. My approach is holistic, and helps you connect your mind, body and spirit. My compassionate, non-judgmental way of being will help you feel understood, and safe enough to talk about the most vulnerable things.
Whether you're struggling with hard feelings, coping with a breakup, or facing a big life transition, I can help you move confidently and authentically forward into a joyful and satisfying new future. I'm available to meet with you in our Denver Colorado office and our Denver Tech Center office, as well as through online video."
Brenda Fahn, M.A., LMFT
“Hi, I’m Brenda. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Couples Counselor, Individual Therapist and Life Coach with over fifteen years of experience in helping my clients strengthen their marriages, their families, and themselves.
I can help you overcome depression and anxiety, and start building a life full of meaning and joy. I’m here to help you build happy, healthy relationships, reclaim your happiness after a set back, and cultivate pleasure, satisfaction, and love in your life. I'm available in Denver, Broomfield, and Online."
Maggie Graham, M.A., LPC, CPCC
"Hi, I’m Maggie. My background is as a therapist but I specialize in career coaching, and life coaching. My goal for our work together is always to help you discover what makes you feel happy and good, about yourself and your life. Then we can work together to help you overcome any obstacles, and create fantastic new reality for yourself — both personally, and professionally.
I use a blend of thoughtful, insightful counseling and strategic, solution-focused coaching to get you unstuck and moving forward again. I am available to meet with you in our Fort Collins, Colorado office, and through online video."
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