How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available by participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, teach skills, and enhance coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image concerns, traumatic stress, and more. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the stresses of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, or point you in the direction of other options. 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, 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 primary relationships
- Improving your self-compassion
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’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 attend to triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and wisely work with 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 transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances as well as they’d like. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as harsh self-judgements, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and past traumas. 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, address life-long symptoms or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, 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, you can learn new skills and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns. Either way, it is most productive to complete an initial assessment and commit to engaging in 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 sessions, I will suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process. People seeking psychotherapy are most successful if they are ready and willing to commit to this endeavor to make positive changes, are open to new perspectives, and wish to take responsibility for their lives.
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. If medications are necessary, 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?
I do not take insurance at this time, and am direct pay only. I will be happy to provide you with a receipt to allow you to work with your insurance company directly. Payment is due at each session.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. You can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone, unless an issue needs to be consulted about with another licensed therapist in order to benefit your therapy. 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.
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Report of 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. I first attempt to work collaboratively, with the client taking the lead in reporting, if possible.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously and imminently in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
*Court orders. These are extremely rare.
Do you offer an initial first free session?
I am all about finding the right match between therapist and client. After all, this is important, personal stuff and you want to feel better. But I do not offer a free first session and this is why: Over the years I have researched various business approaches and their success rates. Interestingly, people who ask/come for a “free” first session almost never return. Curious. So how will we get to know one another? Please read through my website – it’s the most accurate place to get a feel of my work and my personality. Then call or email me. We can chat and see if you feel ready to begin.