Q: Is therapy right for me?
A: Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Q: Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
A: Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
A: How can therapy help me?
A: Therapists can provide support and help you to attain successful problem-solving skills and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the stresses of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or help to point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Q: What is therapy like?
A: Every therapy session is unique and is based on your individual, specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life with you during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Q: Is medication a substitute for therapy?
A: The long-term solution to mental and emotional health and happiness cannot be solved solely with the use of medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the underlying cause(s) of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. At times, including medication in your treatment plan may be considered or suggested. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Q: Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
A: Although I am not a participating provider with most insurance companies, your mental health insurance may cover a portion (sometimes quite a bit) of the cost of therapy. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier to determine if you have out-of-network mental health coverage. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- What are my mental health out-of-network benefits?
- What is the amount covered per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Q: Is therapy confidential?
A: In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a patient and psychotherapist. I am not allowed to disclose any information without prior written permission. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse, dependant adult, or elder abuse. Therapists are required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. Therapists are required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.