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Common Questions

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, death or work transition. Many seek the advice of 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. 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 are 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. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. Many people also find therapy to be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns and the hassles of daily life. Therapy 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:

  • 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, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like? 

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard to talk about 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. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective, you must be an active participant both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy should be willing to take responsibility for their actions, work toward self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.

What if I need medication?

While most emotional problems and the pain they cause can be resolved through an empathic and trusted counseling relationship, in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. It is well established that for serious symptoms, the combination of psychiatric medication and counseling is the most effective treatment for serious depression, anxiety, personality and panic disorders. Working with me and/or your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. If you do not have a doctor, I will provide a referral to a psychiatrist or other medical professional for your medicine management.  It is important to understand that your trained professionals are here to help you understand the risks and benefits of all treatment options.  You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.

Do you accept insurance? 

No, in order to better protect your confidentiality, I prefer not to work "in-network" with insurance companies.  Please know that once an insurance claim is submitted to your health insurance company your diagnosis becomes part of your permanent medical record and can affect life insurance rates, employment, security clearance and/or future health insurance rates.

Additionally, for any insurance company to pay for counseling you must be considered "ill" and diagnosed with a mental health illness or disorder. If you do not warrant a diagnosis, for example feeling overly stressed, having relationship problems or trying to figure out your purpose in life, your insurance most likely will not pay for counseling services.

Do you offer any discounts?

If my regular fees are a financial hardship for clients, I encourage you to ask about my requirements for a discounted fee.  

Is therapy confidential?

Yes, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.

However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • If a client is suspected of child abuse, dependent adult abuse or elder abuse, the therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate additional measures may need to be taken.
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