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Common Questions



"When you get into a tight place, hang on-for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn" - Harriet Beecher Stowe


Why do people seek therapy?

People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.

 

What can I expect in a therapy session?

During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session generally lasts 45 minutes, though some people request longer sessions. Weekly or bi-weekly sessions are typical; some people come in less frequently.  During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records. For therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.

 

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. 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 and your personal goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
  • Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

 

What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?

If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy, your first task is to discern that with the help of your therapist. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.


Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

There is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • How much do you pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
  • What percentage of the session fee will you pay?
  • Is primary care physician approval required?

 

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.  Failure to do so may result in a fine, jail time, and/or loss of professional license. 
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm or death to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and, if possible, inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm or kill himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.

For further information about your rights and responsibilities as a client, please be sure to carefully review the HIPPA Policy and Informed Consent/Gerneral Office Policies documents at your first appointment.