Why do people seek therapy?
People frequently seek the help of a professional when their efforts to resolve their problems on their own have not brought relief. People come into therapy for many reasons. Some are dealing with unexpected changes, crises in their lives or issues that have become more difficult to ignore. Some clients seek self-exploration and personal growth. Others come to therapy with a vague sense of "something is not right", and want help sorting out what is troubling them.
Therapy provides a professional, safe, boundaried space in which clients can explore the above areas. I offer clients support, problem-solving skills, and deeper understanding of issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, parenting concerns, self-esteem issues, and creative blocks. Having guidance and dialogue with an experienced, caring professional gives a different perspective than people more closely involved in the client's life. People seeking psychotherapy are often wanting to live their lives with more choice, congruence, wholeness and peace.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
In your session, you have the opportunity to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 50 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, until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed and your emotional reactions during the session. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book, or journaling about your emotions. As your therapist, I will provide you with feedback and dialogue about your concerns. However, I do not tell you what to do or how you should feel. Sessions are your time for exploring issues and concerns important to you with an experienced, compassionate and non-judgmental professional.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
A number of benefits are common from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful to know that you will have regular time when you can focus on your own concerns with someone who listens with a professional "ear" and offers feedback. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective and guide you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be helpful with personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the demands of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits clients report include:
- Attaining a better understanding of themselves and their personal goals and values
- Developing skills for improving relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led them to therapy
- Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures in successful ways.
- Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others and communicate needs clearly
- Getting "unstuck" from patterns that no work, and developing more beneficial patterns
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving self-esteem and confidence
What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?
If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy, the first task is to explore this with your therapist. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. However, establishing a focus for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
There is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much do you pay for an out-of-net provider?
- Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
- Is primary care physician approval required?
Is therapy confidential?
Everything that you share with me in session, on the phone, or in writing is protected by law as confidential. Information about you is never disclosed to a third party without your written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. A mental health professional is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. A mental health professional must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. A mental health professional 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.
- If ordered by a court of law, to submit testimony or records. In these cases, I will ask you to sign a release allowing me to provide the court with the information required.