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 counsel 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, 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, 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.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists 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 therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. 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? How long does it take?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes.
Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. In my own practice, I have found that longer work in psychotherapy tends to produce better results. Most of my clients leave therapy when they feel they are ready.
What about medication? Do you prescribe medications? Can they be a substitute for therapy?
I am a psychologist and do not have the ability to prescribe medications. However, I consult with physicians and psychiatrists who do prescribe medications. If a client is interested in a trial of medication, I can help them get in touch with a prescribing provider while therapy continues.
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy can be helpful in addressing some symptoms. However, there is a lot of evidence that suggests that medications are not long-term solutions to most problems and that without concurrent psychotherapy, the benefits of medication are limited.
While some clients opt to try medications to help with their struggles, one of my personal goals for all of my clients is to work towards sustained progress and satisfaction without medications.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
Currently, the only insurance plan in which I participate is Medicare. However, some insurance plans will reimburse their subscribers for out-of-pocket therapy expenses. To determine if your insurance with cover your fees, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- 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?
- Do I have an out-of-pocket deductible that must be met before insurance will pay?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist. I will not disclose any information to anyone without your express written consent.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse. In some situations I am legally obligated to report child abuse to state authorities.
- If a client threatens serious bodily harm to another person.
- 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, I may need to disclose our professional relationship in order to ensure a client's safety.