Tatsuya Arakawa LMFT > BLOG > Q&A > What is therapy?

What is therapy?


Thank you so much for visiting my blog.
Here, my intention and hope are that you will educate yourself with the right information as there is so much information online that you should not trust, quite frankly.

As the first blog, I would like to talk about what exactly is therapy.
Often times when I receive inquiries, they have never seen a therapist, or they have seen a therapist but stopped seeing them by just a few times due to various reasons. Therefore, I have encountered so many people who do not have an idea of what therapy is.

Here are general ideas of how therapy is provided by licensed therapists like me (as stated, it is merely a general idea. Depending on what type of treatment therapists provide and their personalities and so many other factors, it can vary).

1st and 2nd sessions:
Here, therapists usually ask you a lot of general questions about you such as your hobbies, your concerns and symptoms. Basically, the most important thing here is to get to know you. Also, as most people use insurance, therapists need to give diagnosis. 1st and/or 2nd session is utilized to grasp the idea of symptoms and what diagnosis/diagnoses should be given to clients.

After the diagnosis part is over, ACTUAL therapy starts. This is the part that can really vary depending on therapists. So, I want to talk about how I provide therapy.

Most of the time, how clients behave, think, and feel is how clients behave, think, and feel outside of therapy sessions. Also, most of the time, one of the reasons why clients come to see a therapist is due to lack of freedom in their life (or at least so do they feel).

Therefore, because I want my clients to feel as much freedom as possible, I let clients decide what they would like to talk about. As a result, most of the time, clients talk approximately 80% of the time while I talk roughly 20 % during therapy sessions. By doing so, clients give me opportunities to see how they behave, think, and feel outside of therapy sessions, so that I can be the best mirror I can be to help them understand about themselves, and help them figure out how they can solve their issues that led them to decide to see a therapist.

So, going back to original question of “what is therapy?”
Well, one of the answers is that clients can talk about anything they want, and I am here to listen.
Yet, this is merely one answer to this question (actually, you can write a book based on this question). So, I will stop here and will continue to discuss this matter at some point.

Thank you again for reading this blog. I hope this was helpful enough.


Tatsuya Arakawa,

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#82425)