FAQ about Therapy

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons 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. It is also common for people entering a time of personal exploration and growth to seek therapy.
Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of challenges. Therapy is helpful for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of his or her life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working toward change.

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.

Participating in psychotherapy can be quite beneficial. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and effective coping strategies for numerous issues. 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 respond to the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits of therapy include:

* Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
* Less guilt and self-blame
* 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
* Spiritual growth and stronger faith
* 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

 

What is therapy like?

Your therapy will be unique to you. I will offer a trained, listening ear as we explore your goals, needs and pain. You may be looking for hope that life can be more satisfying and less painful or stressful. Sometimes, feeling that the primary issues and concerns in your life are understood can provide a surge of hope and the strength to begin to understand yourself.

It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, with each session lasting around forty-five minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. The best therapy happens when there is a good relational fit between therapist and client, and a healthy, trusting bond is established. Here are some things you can expect from therapy:

* Compassion, respect and understanding
* Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
* Real strategies for enacting positive change
* Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
* Confidentiality

 

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. You can determine what's best for you by working with your medical doctor. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be achieved solely through medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Referrals for medical evaluations can be provided as needed.

 

Do you accept insurance?

I have chosen to remain independent of insurance plans to protect your privacy. It also allows you the freedom to decide what kind and how much therapy you want or need. I am not typically covered by managed care plans, HMO's, or preferred provider plans. I may be covered by traditional indemnity insurance or as a nonparticipating provider in other plans. You may wish to talk to your insurer to determine whether my services are covered, what the co-pay may be, and what the limits of coverage are before determining your best option.

 

Is therapy confidential?

Therapy is considered priviledged and confidential. I do not share information about my clients with anyone without your permission or request. This even includes whether or not I recognize your name as someone I have seen professionally at any time.

 

In general, the law requires and protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. The only exceptions I would make are those required by law to this rule:

  • In cases of suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse, the therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately. 
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the police and the endangered person. 
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure his or her safety. However, the physical safety of the client in emminent danger would trump the confidentiality.