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Poseidon Library Dr Lawana R Lofton, PsyD


Most of us experience times when we need assistance in dealing with problems and issues that cause us emotional distress.  When you are having a problem or dilemma that is making you feel overwhelmed, and especially when problems negatively interfere with activities of daily living, you may benefit from the assistance of an experienced, trained professional.

There are many types of Mental Health providers to choose from.  A Psychologist, and other Mental Health or Medical Professionals offer the caring, expert assistance that people need during stressful times.

There are also many types of settings in which to obtain help.   Settings vary from a traditional private practice office, a group therapy setting, inpatient hospital facilities, video conferencing sessions, seminars, and even retreat settings.   Each with advantages and disadvantages based on the individual’s personal preferences and severity of problem they wish to address while in treatment.

The advantage of seeking treatment in a private office setting is that the therapy will involve only the patient and therapist.  Patients are given the permission to freely express themselves and disclose anything and everything freely.   The experience feels extremely intimate, yet therapist is a complete stranger who traditionally never shares anything personal about themselves.  The meeting is about the patient, not the therapist.  Some therapist even have steely barriers about disclosing any personal information about themselves because it disrupts the therapy; disrupts focus on patient’s issues and progress of treatment.  But, when pushed to answer personal questions from a patient with trust issues will at least respond truthfully to maintain the trust of their patient.

This is an acceptable and appropriate hallmark in most therapy approaches with exception of a few, but we will discuss more about those in another article about therapy approaches.

The disadvantage to a private practice office setting for treatment, for some, is individuals report feeling uncomfortable by a perceived intense level of pressure to self-disclose sensitive emotions when they are not ready to.   As with most things in life there is a natural cadence to things and obtaining therapy is no different.   Either a person feels comfortable or they do not.  It is not good or bad, it is just for the person wanting to get some relief from a life stressor to decide based on one’s own comfort level and preferences.

Being in the company of others such as in a group therapy setting, seminar, or retreat, alleviates this concern of being alone one-to-one with a therapist.  In group settings two or more individuals participate in the therapy process at the same time.  The advantage is individuals are able to share their experiences with others and learn they may very well have the same challenges and problems as others and also learn from them.  This normalizes problems for individuals.  Feeling a sense of community; belonging, is also a large part of participating in groups, seminars, and retreats.

Settings matter and it would be wise to consider early how accessible the provider will be to you once you commit to treatment.  Will the commute to treatment be manageable or inconvenient?  Does the treatment setting feel safe, private, or not well insulated for privacy and confidentiality?

The most important thing is to select a professional who has the appropriate training in the area of expertise you are seeking help with to address your problem.

You should also choose someone with whom you can feel comfortable enough to speak freely and openly with.  Establishing an adequate level of rapport with another is a subjective matter.  It’s difficult to measure from a far.  It requires physical face-to-face time for anyone to measure how one will get along with another.  At least, to know whether or not this is the person you care to work with long term and share your problems, and often those which are extremely sensitive emotional concerns.

Three key points to consider.


Area of Expertise

Good Rapport


Next, let’s take a look at some actual Mental Health Office Spaces.

You’ll notice they vary.

Simply click on picture to enlarge for gallery view.


Golden Gate Bridge

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::::   Until Next Time:  à Donf   ::::

Dr Lawana R Lofton, PsyDDr. Lawana R. Lofton, PsyD –    Psychologist with one simple goal of making concepts of psychology accessible.

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