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  • Robyn Isman, LICSW

Therapy yada yada yada

I am so intrigued by people's impressions of what happens in a therapy room. I want to spend a few minutes on today's blog debunking some assumptions of what goes on:


1) You lay on a couch-

Okay, you definitely can lay on my couch and take your shoes off and cover yourself with the soft fuzzy blanket. Many people do this. However, many people sit facing me, or cross their legs, or choose the other chair next to the couch. So many options! You decide!


2) You always have to have something ready to talk about-

You do not have to feel like you have to prepare. Some people come with an agenda. That is great for them and I love that. Some people come with no idea where to start, and I am totally cool with that! I am trained and experienced on conversing and inquiring in a constructive way and I am happy to lead when people feel less vocal. You do not have to perform in my therapy room. If you are on the quieter side, be quieter. If you are a rambler, ramble. We will get to the bottom of so many things by exploring in a way that is authentic to you!


3) We just talk about your problems and your past-

Sure, knowing why things happen based on past experiences can help us understand and create new habits for the future. I am not going to pretend the past isn't important. However, there is also a lot of space for us to create tools and skills for the present and the future. Therapy does not have to only be about the past. We talk about the good things and the wins too. Additionally, you can be in therapy for a while learning these skills and using them, before ever touching on past situations. Therapy is not linear. In my therapy room I like to leave people with some sort of tool at almost every session. Either a mood tracker, a mantra, or a coping skill. So while processing your past, we are also taking care of your present.


4) I will be totally neutral-

I am not a neutral therapist. I have emotions and reactions. That being said, my responses are based on your needs, not based on me. I will not stare blankly at you and therapists don't really do that as much any more. We are starting to be a lot more relational from what I am seeing. The reason for that is that a neutral face is not always a safe feeling, but a warm and empathetic response can make all the difference.


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