How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. I 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 the counseling process can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. I can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available 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, some situations require extra support during a crisis. 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.
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. It may be that you are going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are having trouble handling stressful circumstances well. Sometimes you need help with other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, or relationship problems. Therapy can help provide encouragement and specific skills to get you through these periods. Sometimes you want to learn more about yourself or to be more effective with your life goals. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet their challenges and make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and different goals, therapy will be different depending on the individual or couple. In general, you can expect to discuss your current situation--what is happening in your life, the personal history which is relevant to your issue, and your progress "report" (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, usually weekly.
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 the session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, I will suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a book related to the issues, journaling on specific topics, or discussing certain topics, noting particular behaviors or taking specific actions on your goals. Because you are seeking psychotherapy, it indicates that you are ready to make positive changes in your life, are open to new perspectives, and wanting to take charge of your life.
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 your distress and the behavior patterns that interfere with your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working together with your medical doctor we can determine what's best for you. In some cases a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the right course of action.
Do you work with insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first step is to call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- Do you cover marital/relationship therapy?
- 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 between you and your Psychologist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Sometimes you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team, so you will need to give written permission so that she can release this information.
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.