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, relationship conflicts, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and guidance to decrease life stressors. Therapists 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, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures.
- Improving communication, social skills and coping skills.
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones.
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage.
- Improving your self-awareness and boosting self-confidence.
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 have 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 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 emotional triggers, re-direct damaging patterns of communication and behavior; 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 accepting the support of a therapist. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are having difficulty handling stressful life circumstances. Some may 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 some much needed encouragement and education in coping and self-soothing skills. Others may be at a point where they would like to increase their self-awareness and become more effective at implementing their life goals. In short, people seeking therapy are ready to explore challenges and to make changes in their lives and relationships.
What is therapy like?
Because each individual comes to therapy with their personal story, the treatment plan and experience is created according to personal needs and to reach the therapeutic goals. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history, and report progress (or any new insights gained) since 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 behavioral patterns or your desire for enhanced personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist 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, your therapist may suggest some activities you can do outside of therapy to support your process; such as reading to enhance understanding in a particular area of need or journaling for awareness of thoughts and feelings. People seeking therapy are ready to make positive changes; willing to look at new perspectives and ways to take responsibility in their lives.
What about medication vs. therapy?
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 distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. 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 call your insurance provider. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- 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 therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust within the therapeutic relationship. I will provide you with a written copy of my confidential disclosure agreement.
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, dependent adults, and elders reportable to the appropriate authorities, such as The Child Abuse Registry and Adult Protective Services.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is in danger of harming him/herself precautionary steps are taken for the safety of the client. If the client has threatened to harm another person OR another person has threatened to harm the client, these are also reportable to the authorities (law enforcement) for the safety of the intended victim and the client.