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, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, couple issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists 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
- 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.
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. You are taking responsibility by acknowledging your problems 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 manage triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and constructively address life challenges.
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.). Others may be stressed out. Still others struggle with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy provides much needed support, deep understanding, and helpful tools. Some people want to invest in their own self-growth. Yet others want to figure out the obstacles that prevent them from reaching their life goals. Therapy is right for you if you are ready to explore and address your personal issues.
What is therapy like?
Therapy is not "one size fits all." Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy is tailor-made for each person. You will discuss problems, including your thought processes, feelings and reactions. You may role play or give examples of incidents in which the problem arose. In general, you will discuss both current problems and relevant history that contributes to your issues. Depending on your specific needs, therapy may be relatively short (e.g. minor issues with no historical roots) or longer for addressing entrenched patterns as well as painful or traumatic events that impede personal happiness.
You will enjoy better results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose is to help you transfer what you learn in sessions to your everyday life. Therefore, in addition to the work you do in group or individual therapy sessions, your psychologist may suggest things you can practice outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
Some problems are best addressed by psychotherapy; other problems are helped the most by a combination of psychotherapy and medication. During your intake appointment, we will evaluate the best treatment plan for you. My therapeutic approach goes beyond just treating the symptoms; together, we address the underlying causes of psychological distress.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
Most of my clients use their insurance plans for our sessions. As an out-of-network provider, my clients pay me directly. Then, I complete the necessary paperwork which my clients submit to their insurance companies. Then, clients receive reinbursement directly from their insurance company. I do not use co-pays. To determine if your insurance will cover our work, the first thing you should do is call the number on your insurance card. Some helpful questions you can ask include:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- 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 sacred aspects of our work together. Successful therapy requires that clients discuss highly sensitive, personal information This information will not be revealed to anyone outside of the our office without your written permission, unless professional ethics or state law demand demand or permit that confidentiality be broken in order to protect my client or other people. The following are examples of situations in which your confidentiality might be broken:
- If there is reasonable suspicion that a child, elderly person, or dependent adult is in danger of being abused or neglected.
- A client is assessed to be in serious danger of harming self or others.
- A client is assessed to be “gravely disabled” for mental health reasons
- The Patriot Act requires disclosure
- A client is involved in legal proceedings and her or his file is subpoenaed (in this case, an attempt will be made to protect client confidentiality, but it may be over-ruled).