HOW CAN THERAPY HELP ME?
A number of benefits are available from therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and new 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, relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. However, you will get out of therapy what you put in. 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 nagging concerns that you can't resolve on your own
•Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
•Managing anger, trauma, depression, and other emotional pressures
•Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
•Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
DO I REALLY NEED THERAPY? I CAN USUALLY HANDLE MY PROBLEMS AND OTHERS HAVE IT MUCH WORSE OFF.
Some mistakenly believe that therapy is for “check engine” emergency fixes. Think of counseling more as routine maintenance. Just like an automobile, if you put the right things in your life, you get so much more out of it. Everyone goes through challenging situations, 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. 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.
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. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are feeling overwhelmed or bothered. Some people need assistance managing things like low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. 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.
WHAT IS THERAPY LIKE?
Because each person is unique and has different needs, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history, and how you experience the people, places and things in your life. Therapy yields greater rewards when we commit to longer-term work, to uproot and deal with more difficult patterns.
It is important to understand there will be more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you translate what you learn in session into your life. 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.
WHAT ABOUT MEDICATION VS. PSYCHOTHERAPY?
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 our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with a reputable psychiatrist can help you determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is 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. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. I am in network with Cigna. Some helpful questions you can ask your carrier are:
•What are my mental health benefits?
•What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
•How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
•Is approval required from my primary care physician?
DOES WHAT WE TALK ABOUT IN THERAPY REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL?
Confidentiality and trust are two of the most important components between myself and my patients. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed outside 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 I 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 I have reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.