FAQs

I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. It takes strength to contact a therapist and make the decision to try therapy.  All of us need help from time to time, and people who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. It’s smart to seek out a professional who is expert at helping people work through emotional complexity.  And it takes strength to confront rather than avoid your challenges.

What’s the difference between talking to a therapist and talking to friends or family?

Therapists can offer a variety of things that your friends or family cannot, two of which are especially important.  One, and most obvious, a good therapist has the training and expertise to make sense of your inner complexity, and to help you move from the current place you are at to a better place.  The other is that therapy takes place in a physical and psychic space outside of your regular life.  This provides confidentiality and helps you to open up; it also can give the therapeutic experience a certain power, since new things can happen in this space outside your regular life.  In this alternative space, where the focus is on your well-being, and where you increasingly trust your therapist, old wounds can be faced and worked through, while new possibilities can begin to unfold.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Everyone is different, and I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.  This is talk therapy, so the main thing we do is talk, back and forth, in an atmosphere of ease and trust.  Lots of studies show that talking is far from ‘mere talk’; talking changes your neural networks, it literally rewires your brain.  The key to therapeutic rewiring–the kind of rewiring that moves you toward rather than away from your goals–lies in what sorts of things you talk about, and how you talk about them.  That’s what I’m expert in, and one reason why talking to me is more likely to elicit positive change than talking to friends or family.  See my Services page, where I describe in more detail the typical process for individual therapy and couples therapy.

How long will it take?

Again this varies, and depends on what you are going through, who you are, and what you want.  Some people come for short-term therapy and we talk for a few sessions, others for medium-term therapy that lasts several months, and many others are looking for a therapist with whom they can work in an open-ended way into the future, until they feel it is the right time to stop.  We work this out together, and we are constantly reevaluating to see how you feel about whatever timelines we are working under.





1230 Rosecrans Ave Suite 300
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

geoff.gershenson@gmail.com
(424) 248-7288

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