Psychotherapy[title style=”center” text=”psychotherapy services”]
Call it psychotherapy, therapy, or counseling, the purpose is to help you and support you in your process of change. Therapy offers you the guidance of a trained professional to help you as you go beyond your previous limits in the process of change. In the process of therapy, individuals and couples have the opportunity to explore their personal and family history as well as take a look at the current events in their life and how they may relate. There is also the opportunity to learn new and positive skills to cope with challenges, other people, and learning more about you.
Choosing a Therapist
Here are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind:
Take into account your own preferences
You may be looking for a particular approach (cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example) or for the therapist to be a specific gender or to have a certain style.
If you’ve had a previous experience with therapy, think back over what you did or did not like about the experience. This might give you some clues of what works or does not work for you. However, some people may not have any preference.
Think about what you want from therapy and assess the therapist’s competence in working with you on your goals.
Think about what you want to happen in treatment. You may not be clear about what is even possible in therapy if you’ve never experienced it. Don’t be afraid to ask the therapist if your goals for treatment are achievable in therapy.
Ask the therapist if they have had experience in working with your issue. It is good to know that the therapist is competent to work with your particular problem about the therapist’s experience, training and education. This may be done either on the phone or in an initial session.
Sometimes you might just need a phone conversation with the therapist to get the assurance you need; sometimes an initial session might be required.
When you talk with the therapist, notice how you feel.
This is a collaborative relationship. Does it feel like it can work for you? Do you feel comfortable in talking to this person? Do you feel judged, engaged, respected, at ease? Although uncomfortable material may be brought up in treatment, do you feel as though you can discuss difficult topics in your life with the therapist?
I see psychotherapy as a means of guiding you towards moments of clarity, authenticity, and feeling solid about yourself. Together we will work on the groundwork for developing personal satisfaction and growth in your life. My role is to help you in your journey with support, dedication, humor, and compassion whether you are facing life changes, anxiety or depression.
Frequently Asked Questions about Therapy
Is therapy right for me?
People come to therapy for different reasons. Some of them may be for unexpected changes in one’s life such as a death, divorce, or issue with work or family members. Some people have some long standing issues or may have symptoms of depression or anxiety. Working with a trained professional can be illuminating in dealing with confusing times in one’s life and in getting perspective on various situations. Some issues tackled in therapy include, anxiety, depression, grief or trauma, conflict, family issues, body-image issues and transitions in life. Therapy can help with these life changes by providing a mirror, a sounding-board, feedback, and skills for life’s changes.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
You may have successfully managed many of life’s problems in the past. However, it can be very wise to seek extra support when needed. As a matter of fact, I have noticed that the most functional people are often those who seek out support and coping skills when they need to. Therapy can save you useless and fruitless time of spinning your wheels during tough situations. The awareness gained from therapy can be invaluable in helping you to form newer more healthy patterns and thus helping to really sustain positive change in your life..
How can therapy help me?
There are a number of benefits from psychotherapy. Some of them include:
• New skills in problem-solving, communication, and relationships.
• Dealing with feelings effectively, especially in cases of depression, anxiety, anger and other emotional pressures.
• Finding clarity in confusing situations.
• Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
• Feeling more self-confident and empowered in dealing with life’s challenges.
• Dealing with difficult situations such as abuse, grief, trauma, and loss.
What is therapy like?
The sessions are determined by your needs. I am active in the sessions and I hope you will be too. I will ask questions that will hopefully give you things to think about and to widen your view of yourself and your problems. Sessions are 50-60 minutes in length. At first I recommend people be seen weekly, and as they improve we have the sessions less frequently. The length of treatment is determined by your goals and the situation you are in. I try and help people in the shortest period of time as possible and I do not believe in keeping people in treatment for long periods of time. I sometimes assign “homework” where I may suggest things to read or activities such as journaling or becoming aware of things in your life.
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
Sometimes a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. It is well known that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved by medication alone. Therapy treats not only the symptoms but the causes of our distress and behavior patterns that hinder our progress. I believe a holistic, integrative approach is best for sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being. I work with your doctor or I can make referrals to them when it seems it would be helpful.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
I am on several insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross, MHN, and Health Net. When we talk I will determine if I am an in-network provider. I will be happy to contact your insurance company and determine what your benefits are. I also see many people out of network.
Is therapy confidential?
All treatment is in confidence and can be shared or released only with written permission. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
• If there is a suspicion of child or dependent elder abuse the therapist must by law report this to the authorities.
• If a client is threatening harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the authorities.
• If a client is threatening to harm themselves, the therapist will need to help the individual make a safety plan. If the client is not able to cooperate with this, the therapist is then required to take additional measures to ensure their safety.