Frequently asked questions
Why do people seek therapy?
People seek therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are invited to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Usually weekly sessions are best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, we may together identify certain actions you could take outside of the therapy sessions to enhance your treatment, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records of thoughts or feelings you experience. For therapy to be effective, you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often, it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy largely depend on the quality of your relationship with the therapist, as well as 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 and your personal goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications skills – learning how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
- Getting “unstuck” from unhealthy patterns – breaking old behaviors and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What if I don’t know what my goals are for therapy?
If you aren’t sure what your goals are for therapy, our first task is to figure that out. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
Please see the fees & payments section of my website for details about insurance reimbursement for my services. There is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do is contact your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much do you (the insurance carrier) pay for an out-of-net provider?
- Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
- Is primary care physician approval required?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
Exceptions to confidentiality include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse – the therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s – the therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself – the therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.