Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
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, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life 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 avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. 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, 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
- 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
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of sessions, where each session lasts approximately 60 minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. "Homework" is an important process and practice that integrates what you learn in session with how you live your life out of session. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are curious about their emotional wellbeing, committed to their wellbeing and willing to work towards greater self awareness and personal growth. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassionate, attentive listening
- A collaborative relationship with a trained professional
- Perspectives to illuminate and loosen maladaptive habits of mind and/or interpersonal patterns
- Recognition of inner strengths and outward applications that enhance wellbeing for self and others
- "Real life" strategies for advancing desired change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. A primary care physician or psychiatrist can advise you on what is recommended for your health and together, you can determine what's best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be achieved solely by medication. Beyond treating symptoms, therapy addresses the underlying cause of distress and the behavior patterns that impede progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
To determine if you have behavioral health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- What are my behavioral health benefits?
- Do I have a deductible and has it been met?
- Is the therapist I wish to establish care with "in-network" with my insurance carrier?
- Do I have a co-pay for each office visit? How much is my co-pay?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover per covered period? When does that period renew?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is a referral required from my primary care physician prior to my first appointment with a therapist?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and mental health provider. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Reported or Suspected abuse or neglect of a child (under 18) or dependent adult or elder (above 65), for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
"Be a lamp unto yourself, make of yourself a light".-Buddha