Anne Parkford, PsyD, MFT - Marriage and Family Therapist
                                               What to expect from therapy:
 
     
Why do people come to therapy?

  Most people come to counseling motivated by some internal or external problem or relationship in their lives that they need help sorting out and getting a handle on.  This can run the gamut from a personal crisis, a relationship with someone close to them, or a problem related to school, work, or life stage events such as divorce, death and other life transitions. Most people who seek counseling are going through a life change or transition, or they are looking for ways to somehow feel better in their daily lives.  As a therapist, I help them find those tools they need to change and enjoy their lives more fully.
 
 
    I work with individuals, couples, and family members.  I have a very down-to-earth, hands-on approach.  I don't believe a therapist's role is to just sit and nod in agreement while the client pours their heart out. It is critical that she be empathic and present, but also actively engaged in what the client is presenting at the time in the room.
 
 
 
    Individual and couples/family counseling can be a beneficial and productive experience.  The process of exploring your thoughts, behaviors and feelings that you have, both positive and negative, can be rewarding and life-changing.  Learning better ways to relate and communicate with your partner is the first step in a more rewarding relationship. Our ability to communicate is the foundation of all relationships, and better tools for communication can improve these on many levels. With couples and families, I teach many communication tools needed to take  relationships to a more fulfilling level.
 
   
     Once you've found a therapist you feel comfortable with, the process usually begins with information gathering and assessment of the issues and symptoms, if any.  My own approach is very directive but at the same time supportive and encouraging.  Transition and change, whether it's a life change, a personal change, or a relationship issue - is always difficult.  But with caring and support, the journey can be exciting and completely rewarding.
 
 
    I encourage clients to be open and good consumers of their own mental health process. I tell my clients to let me know if there is something they want that they are not getting, and to be open with their reactions to this process.  This is a collaborative relationship. and cannot proceed smoothly if there is a "one up/one down" relationship between therapist and client.
The initial sessions are when we figure out what it is the client wants to change, and then we go about working on ways to achieve those changes. 
 
 
    The therapy process can be as long or as short as a person needs it to be. Some people need just a few sessions to get clear on a life problem they're grappling with, and others want more deep processing of what is going on with their lives, past and present.  There is no set amount of sessions necessary for change to happen.
 
 
    Therapy sessions are 45-50 minutes in length. I generally tell clients who are first starting out to bring any questions or concerns they have about the therapy process, and to see the first session as a consultation.  Until we meet, there is no way to tell if the client feels comfortable working with me, or if it is a good match for therapeutic work together. With couples, I will send out a pre-counseling worksheet for them to fill out individually- which helps them each organize their thoughts and better identify what they want to work on.
 
 
     I believe in utilizing complimentary adjunctive resources, such as readings, films, exercises, nutrition and when needed, medication referrals.  I also will refer to other professionals, such as medical doctors and practitioners when appropriate.
 
 
    I am open and happy to talk to any prospective client on the phone or email with questions or concerns they have before making their first appointment.
 
 
                    Just call and/or send me an email and we can explore  
                                        your questions and concerns.
 
 
       
        Call:  (805)  448-8839    or email me at:   AnnePMFT@aol.com
 
                                    I look forward to hearing from you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                      Counseling Santa Barbara
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