Why do people seek therapy?
People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, stress management, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, ADHD/ADD, job related problems, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
The first session, or intake session, typically consists of information gathering. A time were paperwork is completed, and you are able to share your current issues/problems you are having difficulties with. When possible we may also discuss a little more of your history.
As I would like to be able to offer the best help possible, I find it is very helpful to understand some of the background events in your life. This process typically takes one to two sessions. We will also be discussing what you would like to achieve and begin to put a plan together to try and help you accomplish these goals.
A session lasts 45 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Usually weekly sessions are best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it can be beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as trying different stress management techniques which we have discussed during the session.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. I often hear my clients say comments such as: I feel lighter, happier, more confident and at ease with myself and my life.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Learning how to be more assertive in your life
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
- Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?
If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy this can be something we can work on together. It is not unusual for someone to be confused or unsure what it is they want to achieve. When I ask this question a typical response is "I just want to feel better". I believe this is a fine place to start at and the goal I will try to help you achieve.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
Yes, I accept several insurance plans. Please call your insurance company and ask if I am one of their providers. If I am not a provider for your insurance company you are expected to pay the full fees at the time of the service. I will be glad to bill your insurance company for our sessions and either have the amount the insurance company reimburses applied to your next appointment or you can choose to have the reimbursement sent directly to you from the insurance company. If I am a provider for your insurance company then you would only be responsible for any deductible amount, copay, or co-insurance which is due at the time of the service.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.
- Legal Proceedings. If you are involved in a legal proceeding a judge may order a counselor to disclose information related to your treatment.