Header-Cheryl Graser-Pruss, Clinical Psychologist
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Before we explore what therapy is, it might be useful to address common misconceptions.

Therapy is NOT how it is presented in the movies. 
Therapy is NOT just for the “crazies”, and that you will get a stigma if anyone knows you’re going. 
Therapy is NOT about someone telling you what to do, especially the things you do wrong.
Therapy is NOT a magic cure, that your life will be transformed within a few sessions.

Rather –
Therapy is for everyone, especially, but not only, when one is going through a crisis.
Therapy is a Real relationship, with another human being who has your best interests in mind, who is completely objective, empathic and honest and will maintain safe boundaries and confidentiality, who has many years of professional training for this purpose.
Therapy is about being empowered to make constructive decisions and changes that are necessary for a more fulfilling life, in the process of working through the issues that have become unbearable.
Therapy is about personal growth, through hard work, and commitment to the process.

The process can take place in a variety of formats. 
You might prefer to be in your own individual therapy, or the problems might be about the dynamics between you and a loved one, so you would come as a couple.  Or the family system might need some guidance in changing destructive dynamics.  There are opportunities for a different kind of interpersonal growth experience to be found in group therapy.

Depending on the nature of the issue, one of these modalities will work for you.  The time you invest in your therapy is also dependent on what you need from therapy.  The more far-reaching the changes you wish to make in your life, the longer the process. 

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