Is therapy right for me?

Seeking therapy is an individual choice and 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 death of a loved one. Many look for a therapist 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 such as school and career changes. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness and working towards positive change.

What can I expect in a therapy session?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and his or her specific goals. During therapy sessions we will talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly or bi-weekly sessions, where each session lasts 50 minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to do things outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Between sessions it is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you will need to be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.

What to Expect in Counseling

In order for your counseling to be most effective it is important to understand the counseling process and what you can reasonably expect. Counseling is:

  • A process
  • Requires honesty with self and others
  • A learning experience
  • A collaboration of counselor and client
  • An opportunity to deal with issues in an atmosphere of safety and acceptance
  • Based on universal therapeutic values

Counseling is not:

  • Giving advice
  • A quick fix
  • A shifting of responsibility to someone else
  • Intrusive with the counselors personal beliefs

Your counselor will:

  • Listen intently
  • Ask probing questions
  • Challenge some of your assumptions
  • Help you explore solutions
  • Move toward independence
  • Challenge you to grow
  • Respect your value system
  • Abide by ethical standards
  • Make referrals when appropriate

Your counselor will not:

  • Work harder on your problem than you do
  • Tell you what to do
  • Take sides in a dispute
  • Give legal or medical advice

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life’s challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict and improved quality of life. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
  • Improving difficult relationships
  • Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
  • Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
  • Increasing confidence, peace and well-being
  • Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Enhancing the overall quality of life

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

I am a provider on a limited number of insurance panels. To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with 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 does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?
  • What types of therapy are covered (marriage, family, individual)?

More information on fees and insurance.

Is therapy confidential?

The law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written consent. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule.

Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist may notify law enforcement authorities
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist the client’s cooperation in insuring safety. However, further measures may be taken without the client’s permission in order to ensure the client’s safety.

A Court of law may supboena information and it must be released to the Court.

One Thought on “Common Questions”

  • Counseling is not about “Giving advice”. This point was absolutely spot on. A lot of counselor makes this mistake and the client falls into more stress.

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