How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists provide support, 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. Therapists provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or 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:
- Gaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- 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
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
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 that you are struggling in a way that you have not before and need some help. Therapy is making a commitment to change the situation by seeking that help. 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.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual or couple. In general, I would ask you to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and in follow up sessions report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term (as in 6-8 sessions), for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common that we would schedule regular sessions at the frequency that will best accomplish your goals.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, I will suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as noticing particular behaviors or taking action on your goals, reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and to taking responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that interfere with your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
If you have out of network benefits in your health plan some portion of your fee would be reimbursed to you by your insurance company. To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. We can discuss this over the phone and I can ssist you in the process. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits and do I have out of network coverage?
- What is the coverage amount 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?
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. I will provide a written copy of my confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.