How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, troubled relationships, 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, marital issues, and the stresses of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, or point you in the right direction. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put it into practice. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, 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, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
Improving communications and listening skills
Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life. While you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking extra support when you needed. 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.
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 development (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.)and having difficulty handling the stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts, and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide much needed encouragement and knowledge with skills to get 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 face the challenges and to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
- Each client has different issues and goals, hence 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 relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy sessions. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term for a specific issue, or long-term to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is best to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
- 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, 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 who are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their growth.
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 resolved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of the distress and the behavior patterns that curb progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can 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?
Please contact your insurance carrier for coverage information. Some helpful questions:
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 a Psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with a 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 Services 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 threatened to harm another person.
- If a judge has ordered the release of the information.