Common Questions

Is therapy right for me?

There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek counseling as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change.  You will know within several sessions if the "fit" with me is right for you.

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 other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking extra support when you need it. If you have read this far, it is likely you have a problem that is unresolved and continues to worry you.  It has not resolved on its own despite various attempts.  Therapy is precisely for people who have the self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand. 

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. I can offer support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and many other challenges. I can offer 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:

  • Synthesizing 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 marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like?

Every therapy session is unique and tailored to you and your goals but it always involves sitting somewhere welcoming and comfortable to talk about your life and its challenges.  I will listen to you in a way that is different than your friends do. I bring a focus and perspective that I have cultivated through training, experience and insight.  What you can expect from therapy with me includes:

  • Compassion and respect without judgment
  • Perspective that will illuminate persistent patterns and entrenched negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Practical guidance and support offered with sensitivity, humor, and warmth

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

Sometimes medication makes sense and sometimes it does not.  Research shows that in some cases therapy along with medication is a more effective long-term solution to emotional problems and the pain they cause than medication or therapy alone.  If medication might be helpful, you and I and your medical doctor or a psychiatrist would reach that conclusion together.  Medication is never forced upon anyone.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

I am a fee-for-service therapist and do not belong to any insurance panels.  What this means is that clients pay me directly at each session and at the end of each month I can provide you with a receipt or billing statement which you can submit to your insurer. Most of my clients who submit these statements are able to receive some percentage of the fee as reimbursement.  It is up to you to inquire about your coverage. To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your policy carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • Does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?  If so, what amount may I expect?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist.  No information is disclosed without prior written permission from you, my client.

However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Those exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse.  I am required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, I am required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to work with that individual to ensure their safety. 
    However, if an individual continues to threaten harm to themselves, I may need to take additional measures to prevent self injury.

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