Everybody Hurts

Steven Ganzell, Ph.D.

Therapists try to create a space and a relationship that allows you to examine your concerns and understand them.

BY DR. STEVE GANZELL

Most people don’t go to therapy because they have a serious mental illness. Most people try therapy because they feel stuck or are grappling with an issue they don’t quite understand.  Sometimes they just hurt. Usually they have discussed these issues with their friends or family and find they still struggle. They don’t go to a therapist to get better advice, they go to try to understand and make some changes.

Therapists try to create a space and a relationship that allows you to examine your concerns and understand them. Sometimes this process is described as making the unconscious, conscious and whether the therapy focuses on uncovering aspects of your experience or building on your strengths It may take a couple of tries to find the therapist who is a good fit for you. 

This is a normal part of the process. You should feel comfortable asking anything you want. I always tell people if I’m not a good fit, I’ll be glad to refer them to a colleague. This can be for all kinds of reasons, and they are all valid.  

Your therapist is supposed to be someone you can talk to. If you aren’t made to feel comfortable asking about your concerns, that can be a good indicator of a less than optimal fit.


Steven Ganzell, Ph.D. Is a licensed psychologist (CA PSY12321) with over 25 years of experience in clinical practice. He is an active organizer, author, and activist in the LGBT and BDSM/Kink communities. His office is located in Hollywood and there is no fee for an initial consultation. Call or text 323-717-0002.