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. Sometimes feedback from others about disturbing behavior or a surprisingly negative evaluation at work may lead to therapy. A person may find themselves responding angrily to friends and family or in the workplace and want to change but not know how. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy may lead to a new way of seeing oneself and thinking about one's life, a beginning of change. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is 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.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, While you may have successfully navigated through difficulties you faced in the past, you may now need another ear and voice for extra support. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness and good judgement to realize when they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to see new possibilities for change 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 challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, help you develop and strengthen your problem-solving skills, and provide enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and creative blocks. Many people also find that counseling can be a tremendous asset to personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or ask you targeted questions that guide you to a solution that lies within. 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, values and expectations
- 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, depression, chronic worrying, and other emotionally draining aspects of life
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Realizing old behavior patterns that no longer work for you and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Reevaluating your personal and professional goals
- Learning to listen to your own feelings and be true to yourself
What is therapy like?
Therapy is a conversation about you. We discuss your experiences, feelings, wishes and dreams. It 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, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Part of the process is integrating what has been discussed into life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are looking to create greater awareness in their lives, take responsibility for their actions, and work toward self-change.
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. Usually, you begin the process by discussing the issues and concerns that brought you into therapy and answering questions about your background that enable the me to understand more about you. Sessions are 45 minutes long and initially are scheduled weekly. As a client meets his or her goals and improves quality of life, we meet less frequently.
Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Effective strategies for enacting positive change
- 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. If it appears that medication may be right for you, I would refer you to a psychiatrist so you and the psychiatrist can determine the best medication, if any. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved by medication, alone. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy can help you see causes or behavior patterns that may be contributing to your distress. For example, if a person has a symptom of anxiety, a psychiatrist might prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to relieve the anxious feelings, but the medication would not remove the reasons for the anxiety. That is where therapy comes in; through therapy you can become more aware of possible triggers for the anxiety and learn new, more satisfying ways of coping and managing. Integrating the benefits of medication and the strength gained from therapy offers the potential for a more satisfying life. It has been shown that you can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with this integrative approach to wellness.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
I accept some insurance. I a provider for a number of private insurance companies, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, CIGNA, etc., and also accept some HMOs. When you contact me and we schedule an appointment, I would need your insurance information so I could confirm your coverage before we actually meet. Please see the tab called "Rates and Insurance," for further information.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, federal law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without signed prior written permission from the client. However, confidentiality has its limits. Please see the section, "Privacy and Policy."
If you would like to cancel, I require 48 hours advance notice. If I do not have 48 hours notice, you would be personally responsible for the fee for that session. The reason for the policy is this. I reserve a time for you and only you. By giving me 48 hours notice that you are not attending, I may be able to see another client during that time. If not, it is possible that a client in need, may have to wait and the session is unused. In addition, I would not be paid for the lost hour, because I did not see a client during that time.
If you have insurance, I would charge the 'contract,' or 'allowable rate,' that is, your co-pay, if any, plus the insurance company payment per session. If you pay for the sessions out-of-pocket, the fee is the same as the per session amount we had agreed. Exceptions are considered on a case by case basis.