How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief and stress management. Many people also find that Therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapy can 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:
- 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
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
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.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions and relationship problems. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement to get through the tough times. Some may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make positive changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual, couple or family. In general, you can expect to discuss what's brought you to seek therapy, your personal history which includes your relationship with this perceived problem, your family system, and goals for yourself. Throughout therapy you will discuss your progress (or any new insights gained) since the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for added personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule weekly sessions, initially.
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, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as writing exercises, meditation, reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives and take responsibility for their progress.
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 interupt our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. In some cases, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the right course of action. If it is determined that this is the most suitable option, it will be recommended during therapy.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
Payment is expected at time of service. If you have out-of-network benefits, I will provide you with an Itemized bill for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. For your convenience, I accept cash, check and all major credit cards.
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your Behavioral Health coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- How much (what percentage) does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Have I met my deductible
- Where do I send my Itemized bill from my Psychotherapist?
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 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 your therapist to share information or give an update to someone (your Physician, Psychiatrist, Attorney, Parent, Spouse). By law I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, 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.