How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. My first goal is to help you feel less alone and more supported with whatever you are wrestling with. In addition to providing support, I can assist with problem-solving skills and enhanced coping strategies. These therapeutic tools help with many issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood concerns or trauma, grief, stress management, or simply feeling stuck. Many people also find that counseling can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. As an objective guide, I may 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 your use of the process and putting into practice what you learn. Some of the many 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 romantic relationship
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
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 need a helping hand, 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. In addition, having an objective point of view can be helpful.
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. One of the most common, and helpful motivating beliefs is the belief that you deserve a stable and happy life and you are seeking therapy to help you attain that goal. Some people 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, spiritual conflicts and feeling stuck. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get 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 change how they meet the challenges in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different needs and goals for therapy, I tailor therapy to each person's particular needs, values, etc. Therefore, therapywill be different for everyone. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history as it relates to your concerns, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy sessions. Depending on your specific needs, your 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 me (usually weekly), particularly at the beginning of our work together.
It is important to understand that you will get better results from your therapy if you actively participate in the process. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, I may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your 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.
What about medication vs. therapy?
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 your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. This is not limited to just the question of medications for emotional issues, but also your overall health. For this reason, I often work with your medical doctor to determine what's best for you, to follow up on medical tests and to report your progress. (Because you are entitled to confidentiality, I would only contact your physician with your signed consent.) A combination of medication and therapy is often the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them or check their website. Some websites even list providers by name. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions 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 Psychologist. I take your confidentiality very seriously. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that may not be discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. I will provide you with a written copy my 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 me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require me 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 a client or collateral sources.
* If I have reason to suspect a client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person. In other words, I am compelled by law to intervene to protect the safety of all involved.