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Common Questions



How can therapy help me?
Many people find therapy beneficial. 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 counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the challenges of daily life. Therapists can 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 how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
  
  • Finding direction regarding your personal goals and values.
  • Improving interpersonal skills in relationships at home and at work
  • Developing better boundaries in your life, both personally and profesionally.
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communication with others in your life. 
  • Recognizing ineffective behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and confidence.
How do I know if my therapist is a good fit for me?
It is normal to be a little nervous during your first meeting with your counselor.  The job of your therapist is to make you feel at ease and comfortable starting with your first session.  It takes time to build a therapeutic relationship, but generally, as you move forward, you should feel a sense of trust and level of connection with your counselor.  The counseling relationship is a very special one.  Eventually, you should see changes in your life in terms of your counseling goals, and also feel an internal shift into feelings of greater harmony and understanding.

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 psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.) or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need help working through a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and personal loss.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them 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 psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and make meaningful changes.
 
What can I expect in therapy?
Your goals in counseling are highly unique and individual, so therapy will be tailored specifically for you.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, 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 important to know that you will need to carry over what you have learned about yourself in therapy to your personal life outside of the session. 
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist 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 psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.   

How do I know if therapy is helping me?
Over time, you should see changes in your mental and emotional states, as well as in reactions and behaviors.  Change sometimes takes a while before it becomes part of you.  There are also times where we will fall back into old patterns of thinking and behaving.  This is not an indication that you are moving backwards, but an opportunity to grow and utililze your new insights and skills again until they become more solidified.  
Sometimes it is necessary for a counselor to refer you to another practitioner if you reach a point where you have obtained all you can from a particular therapist. Also, sometimes after the first few sessions, the therapist might discern that your presenting problems are outside the realm of what he/she can assist you with.  In that case, a rerferral to someone with that expertise is appropriate.  Finally, it is important to realize that therapy does not help all people in all situations.   

Do you accept insurance?
I take many major insurances, and these are listed on another page. To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them.  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 psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office.   Every therapist should provide a written copy of their 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 your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
 
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists 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 the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
 

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