Is Therapy Right for Me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why 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. Many seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, and general life transitions. Therapy may be a good move for anyone who is has tried to create change - but there hasn't been enough change. Therapy is for those interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives. Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems. It depends, some people avoid psychotherapy for various reasons. Some are fearful of that cliche idea of laying on a couch. (My patients don't lie on a couch!) Others simply prefer a solely medical solution to their symptoms. However, everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they will benefit from discussing their concerns, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. How can therapy help me? A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapy can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapy 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. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
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
What is therapy like? Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for me to discuss with you the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes - it's also true that some prefer to schedule appointments ad hoc, - as needed. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions (homework), such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy with me.
An unpretentious approach
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
Is medication a substitute for therapy? In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your physician or psychiatrist, you can determine what's best for you. 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 curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. I have worked closely with many psychiatrist in the community. Whether I communicate with your health-care provider will be your decision.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work? I am contracted with most insurance companies - but- to be certain that I am on the panel of providers contracted with your insurance I encourage you to call them and ask.
"What are my mental health benefits?"
"What is the coverage (copayment) amount-due per therapy session?"
Ask about how many therapy sessions are covered under your plan.
If I am NOT contracted by your insurance company (a rare occurence) ask how much your policy pays for an out-of-network provider?
Is therapy confidential? In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. If for some reason I email you about a your ongoing therapy, I will use encrypted email as required by HIPAA laws.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to confidentiality rules. Exceptions include:
Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. Under these circumstances, I am REQUIRED to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another identified person. I am required to notify the police.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. I will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken. I do not keep secrets if a patient/client communicates to me their serious and imminent threat to harm themselves or another person.