1. How can therapy help me?
There are many benefits from participating in therapy. Therapist can provide support, problem-solving skills and enhanced coping strategies for situations such as depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, unresolved childhood feelings, grief, stress management, sexual identity and sexual appreciation. Many people find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marital concerns and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a new perspective to an old problem. Below is a list of some of the benefits you might discover:
• 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
2. Do I really need therapy?
I can usually handle my problems. Everyone goes through challenging situations in life. While you might have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, seeking extra support through therapy can be a healthy choice. It shows self-awareness. Therapy can provide long-lasting benefits and support, giving you to tools to be aware of triggers. Therapy can help you redirect damaging patterns or help you overcome other challenges.
3. Why do people go to therapy and how do I know that it's right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to therapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide encouragement and help with skills to get through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking therapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes.
4. What is therapy like?
Each person has different issues and goals for therapy. Therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (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 with your therapist (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 session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking therapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
5. What about medication vs therapy?
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 our distress and the behavior patterns that limit progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor enables you to determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
6. Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
The first thing you should do is contact your insurance provider to determine whether you have coverage. Look on the back of your insurance card to find the phone number of your insurance provider. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand the answers. Helpful questions you can ask are:
• What are my mental health benefits?
• 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?
I am an "out of network" provider. I will give you a session receipt to submit to your insurance for possible reimbursement.
7. Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but in the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of his/her confidential disclosure agreement. You can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. However, sometimes you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
Additionally, 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.