Therapy doesn’t have to be this big mystery. It’s just a conversation between two people, and then you have the freedom to check your gut and see how you feel about continuing, to ask yourself “Is this helpful?”. I think everyone could benefit from therapy – there is value in looking at yourself and figuring out what serves you and what doesn’t.
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, career or personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by stress, guilt, doubt, anxiety, or grief, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, 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 or success in their lives.
How confidential is therapy?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information may not be disclosed without written permission. There are a limited number of 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 each client’s cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without permission in order to ensure client safety.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 55 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 is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed – sometimes it is in between therapy sessions where the greatest learning takes place. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book, writing, relaxation techniques or meditation practice. For therapy to “work,” you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.
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 or professional growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. 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 and your personal or professional goals and values
- 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
- 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
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What if I don’t know what my goals are for therapy?
If you aren’t sure what your goals are for therapy, your first task is to figure that out. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.
Do you accept insurance?
At this time, I am not on any insurance panels. If your plan allows for out of network providers, I can provide you with invoices for reimbursement. There are several reasons for this. When using your insurance, most carriers require that you are given a mental disorder diagnosis to qualify for coverage. This diagnosis will become part of your medical record. There is no assurance that this information will be kept confidential by your provider. Information about current insurance use and diagnosis may have an effect on future insurance availability and use. Please consider this information when looking to use insurance
If you want to use your insurance, 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?
- Can I use an out of network provider?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
- Is primary care physician approval required?