What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 50-55 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Usually weekly sessions are best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records. For therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.
Because psychotherapy often deals with uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and behaviors, it is important to know that there may be times when you may experience difficult emotions as a result of the psychotherapy work you are doing. This is to be expected and should you be alarmed by it please make sure that you speak with your therapist about it.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. 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:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
- Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?
If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy, your first task is to figure that out. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
The re is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. I am currently NOT a provider for any insurance company. However, many of my patients have found that they are able to get reimbursed for their sessions. Some insurances carriers pay at there regular provider rate and others pay at an out of network benefit rate. Occasionally, an insurance company may not reimburse at all. You should check with your carrier to see if they will cover my services. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- How much do you pay for an out of network provider?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
If you find that your insurance carrier will cover your sessions, I will provide you with a form containing the appropriate information for you to submit. In this situation, you will pay me for my services and then be directly reimbursed by the insurance company .
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.
Does therapy always work?
If you are successful in your psychotherapy experience, you may find that you are able to overcome obstacles, transcend your history, and live a more meaningful existence. But, psychotherapy is NOT for everyone. It takes a great deal of effort and determination to change. Therefore, it is that you are ready, committed, and able to tolerate the process of change you are undertaking. In some cases, you are trying to change years of living a certain way. While the goal is admirable, the process is not an easy one.
It is also essential that the therapist you are working with be realistic about his/her abilities and is competent in the area that you are looking for help. It is important that, to a certain degree, that you and your therapist feel positive about each other. If either you or your therapist have concerns that makes either of you feel that this may not be a good match, it is better to talk about it and try to resolve the problem. If the problem can't be resolved, your therapist should work with you to make a referral to another professional.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that while therapy may bring you alot of positive changes, those positive changes may have an impact on your established relationships and life. As you change, you may not see things as you have before and this may alter not only how you are in life, but also how you interact with others. As people become learn to live more authentically, they may find themselves with less tolerance for things that they have tolerated in the past. This may result in relationships changing or even being lost. This result is important to keep in mind when contemplating getting into therapy.
Remember that mental health is not passive obtained, but rather it is actively earned.
Why do people seek therapy?
People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. When people seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness amazing results are possible.