How can therapy help me?
Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, traumatic experiences, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Counseling can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage 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
- Dealing with traumatic experience in your history
- 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 times 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 could benefit from a helping hand. You are taking responsibility by making a commitment to change a troubling situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to manage triggers, alter damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face now and in the future.
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, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. You may be finding that depression and anxiety are shaping your choices and keeping you from living the life you would like to live, or you may have had traumatic experiences from which it has been difficult to move on. If you are at a point where you are ready to learn more about yourself and want to be more effectively pursuing your goals,therapy can help you meet challenges and make changes in your life.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, some personal history, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from 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 more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist.
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 reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
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 resolved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrated 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?
I am an out-of-network provider. 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. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my out-of-network 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 important components of the relationship 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 you with a written copy of my policies. In general, you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. Sometimes, however, you may want me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but I will not 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.