How can therapy help me?
There are numerous benefits from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide emotional support, teach problem-solving skills, and suggest enhanced coping strategies for all kinds of issues. Many people also find their therapist to be a tremendous asset on their path toward personal growth, building healthier relationships, resolving family concerns, and navigating the hassles of daily life. 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 use the process and put into practice what you learn.
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 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, addictions, relationship problems, and creative blocks. Therapy can provide much-needed encouragement and help with the skills needed to get them 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 to make meaningful changes.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on each unique 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 (weekly, at the very least, to begin with).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. Simply put, you get out what you put into it. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life, having a ripple-effect on your current circumstances. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support the overall 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 through these actions between sessions.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
I do not accept insurance-- however, I do understand and appreciate how confusing the process can be. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions per calendar year 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 a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (ex. your pedicatrician), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
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.