Based on an assessment, Gratia Plena staff may recommend psychotherapy for you.  People who have never been in therapy sometimes have lots of questions about this:  What is therapy?  How does it work?  What types of therapy are there?

Psychotherapy has been also called “talk therapy” or counseling.  The process involves an active interaction between the client and the therapist.  It is difficult to describe what happens in therapy in just a few words.  Therapy can involve a wide range of techniques and strategies.  For example, problem-solving may be one aspect to therapy.  Strength-building can be another.  A therapist may help a couple or a family to learn better communication skills.

Certain therapy approaches may be more helpful for some issues than others.  Gratia Plena staff will discuss these options with you during treatment planning.  After hearing the options, you may prefer one type over another.  If a particular strategy is not working for you, our staff will discuss this with you.  There are certainly no guarantees that treatment will work for everyone.

Gratia Plena offers therapy in four formats:  individual, marital/couples, family, and group.

In Family Therapy, all or some family members will attend sessions together.  Staff may invite different combinations of family members to attend at different points in the therapy process, or we may recommend that the same members attend each time.  In Family Therapy, the goal is to help the family become stronger and healthier as a group.  The focus is not on any one particular family member.

Group Therapy is different from 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).  With 12-Step programs, there is no mental health professional leading the process and members are usually not allowed to “cross-talk” (directly address each other’s comments).  In Group Therapy, a mental health professional guides the process, may “teach” or model certain skills, and members are encouraged to give direct feedback to each other.  12-Step groups can be an extremely valuable part of your Personal Change Plan, and Dr. Ken may recommend that you attend a 12-Step program.  Therapy groups are usually made up of 3-8 individuals who don’t know each other at first.  Some groups are on-going (no planned end or time-limit), while others may be limited to 10 or 12 sessions for a specific focus, and then they disband.  The Loving and Eating Well (LEW) group is for Catholic women who would like support and healing for eating and intimacy issues. It meets on Mondays from 5:30pm-6:30pm in our office for $10 per session.

therapyIn Couples or Marital Therapy, we work with the couple to strengthen the relationship and help it to become more healthy and fulfilling.  Because we have multiple staff members at Gratia Plena, when we have available staff we often work with couples using male-female co-therapists so that we can easily break out for supplemental individual sessions as needed. We find that this arrangement works well. The Catholic Church requires a certain amount of marriage preparation before the marriage ceremony, and your priest may recommend premarital counseling as part of this preparation.

In Individual Therapy, the therapist works with the client one on one.

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