Commonly Asked Questions:
Is therapy for me?
Seeking therapy is an individual choice, or one made within the family or couple seeking help. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems relating to anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as divorce, job change, or death of a loved one. Many seek therapy in the pursuit of personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and greater understanding of all types of life challenges. Therapy can be helpful when addressing stress management, body-image issues, anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, past trauma, and addictions. Therapy is right for anyone interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I like to handle my problems myself.
Everyone goes through periods of time that are challenging to manage and while you may have successfully navigated through difficulties in the past, there is nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, it is typically strongest individuals who enter into therapy because they are individuals who are willing to face their problems head on and do something about them. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a committment to change the situation by seeking help. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and gives you the tools you need to avoid triggers and falling back into old, unhealthy behavior patterns.
What is therapy like? What can I expect in a therapy session?
Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. A session usually lasts 60 minutes, although longer sessions might be considered useful. I recommend weekly sessions to start off and then digressive (every other week) sessions as things begin to improve. Between sessions, clients are encouraged to think about and process what was discussed. Each session will cater to your individual needs and personal goals. It is standard for therapists and clients to discuss the primary concerns in your life. At the beginning of therapy, we will spend more time getting to know each other while the middle and end phases of therapy will be more active and solution focused. At times, you may be asked to do something specific outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book, journaling, or skill practice. For the therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both during and between the therapy sessions.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Oftentimes the therapeutic relationship, which is built around the idea of unconditional acceptance and trust, is the most helpful part of the process. Others find it helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can also provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. To a certain extent, the benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some more specific benefits of therapy are:
-Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals, and your values
-Improving self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
-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, panic, and other emotional concerns
-Improving communication and listening skills
-Changing old behavior patterns
-Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family and/or marriage
Will my treatment be confidential?
The law requires that your treatment be confidential and kept private. It protects all communication between a therapist and a client and prohibits information from being released without prior written consent given by the client.
However, there are some specific exceptions wherein the therapist is required by law to divulge private information. These exceptions include:
-Suspected child-abuse, dependent adult abuse, or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the authorities immediately.
-If a client threatens serious bodily harm to another person and/or property. In this instance the therapist is required to notify the police.
-If a client intends to threaten his or her life. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure both their safety and their privacy. However, if an individual is unable or unwilling to keep themselves safe, additional measures need to be taken.
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
No. In some cases, medication combined with psychotherapy will be the best, most effective course of action. Working with your medical doctor or psychiatrist we can determine what is best for you. It is well established by research 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 addresses the underlying cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb progress. You can best achieve sustained progress with an integrative approach.
Do you accept insurance?
I am currently contracted to work with both CIGNA and MHN. Otherwise, I do not bill insurance directly in my practice. However, many PPO plans cover some or all fees from "out of network providers." If this is true of your plan, I will gladly provide you with invoices so that you can pursue reimbursement from your insurance carrier. Additionally, I have a sliding scale and am happy to work with students or those who are unemployed to come up with a set fee that works within your budget.