Let’s Talk About Therapy
Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area is going to explore something new…blogging. Today we are going to highlight one of our most well-known programs and talk about what might make it unique. Our Outpatient Therapy program is a mental health service to youth and families. Most people are familiar with the basic tenants of outpatient therapy. Once a week you go to an office, meet with a therapist who provides different interventions and information and often homework assignments. Then you go on with your life for the next week and attempt to practice what you just discussed with the therapist. Then next week when you return, you will review the previous week, problem-solve areas of difficulty and learn a new skill to add on to what you worked on the previous week. This is an incredibly over-simplified version of therapy, but you understand the general idea. There are many pitfalls with this if you have trouble meeting the daily demands of life or if your problems are more complicated than what skill-building can address.
Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area takes a holistic and family-focused approach to therapy in which other services such as case management and crisis intervention are also a vital component. The therapist that you meet with in the beginning to complete a comprehensive mental health assessment will also be the same therapist that will help you define goals that you want to work on in therapy. That therapist can also help you to access the resources necessary that might be stopping you from achieving success toward those defined goals. You might ask, why one person for everything? The reason we go about doing therapy this way is so that the therapist is able to understand the family system and problems as a whole. With this understanding, they can identify barriers more quickly and address those before it feels insurmountable. This therapist will also coordinate care with the other important people in your life, such as a school, primary care physician, or psychiatrist if you are agreeable with this. Coordinated care also leads to better outcomes of those goals because we are able to work with the many different aspects that make up your life. Sometimes this care coordination happens in our own agency with SASS or Family Support Services.
Our therapists, like most therapists, work hard to build strong relationships with you and your family by giving you respect, working as partners, and being genuine. We have ten therapists including four who are bilingual in English and Spanish. This number does not include our SASS Therapists or School-Based Therapists. Our therapists work in a variety of environments. We have offices in both Elgin and Streamwood. We also provide some home-based services when medically necessary and community based services such as in schools, libraries, and sometimes even your local McDonalds if nothing else works. Our Elgin community has embraced us with many great partnerships that allow us to be flexible in the delivery of our services.
The other thing I feel it is important to say is that going to therapy doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. We all experience difficult times in life. People who seek out a therapist are just the smart ones that are willing to reach out and accept some help along the way! Many of us are too embarrassed or stubborn to accept that help and this just delays the process of feeling better about yourself and your life.
We hope that this helps you to better understand what our approach to therapy is and why it is so important to us to have partners in this process.