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APPROACH TO THERAPY

Three Factors to Change

Therapy with me is a three-factor experience. It is an emotional, physical, and psychological enterprise leading to positive change. It is an integrated system of cognitive-behavioral, dialectical-behavioral, psychodynamic, and interpersonal therapies. 

Emotionally, therapy is a relationship that is healing. Being comfortable with your feelings, being honest, and knowing how you feel is a lifelong process. The more you are honest with yourself and in the company of others, the more accepting you will be. You will learn to let your feelings guide you instead of scaring you.

Psychologically, therapy is where you understand why you do what you do. To change your actions sometimes, you must change your beliefs (or be willing to test them out). This is difficult to accomplish alone. It would help if you bounced ideas off of others. In an accepting environment, you can try out new beliefs and develop new ways of relating to the world. You learn to change your values and behaviors to become the person you are meant to be.

Physically, the journey to wholeness and self-esteem is to take one small action at a time. Dr. Ma will help you understand what suits you and choose the right action. Learning to decide when, where, and how to act is a formidable perspective and will change your life. In therapy, you integrate this perspective and keep yourself accountable to your values.

Maybe when you were young, you went to someone for help but were met with coldness, mockery, or humiliation. You may have resolved never to open up or depend on others and grabbed onto the belief that you could do life alone. You have to risk reaching out because the rewards can be unique, and it is excellent not to be alone.  

Finally, therapy is a process; like most worthwhile things, it takes patience, commitment, and faith. It is a dynamic process and a valuable service that, hopefully, you are willing to receive. 

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