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 troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset in assisting personal growth, improving interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. 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 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
- Spiritual crises, conflicts, and issues that create anxiety, depression, or worry
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 avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, 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 coming to psychotherapy.
Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce,
new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some
people 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 help with skills to get them through these
periods. Others may be at a point where they want to learn more
about themselves, or to be more effective in attaining 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, 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 or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule 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. One aim of therapy is to help you apply what you learn in your sessions to your day-to-day life.. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People who find success in therapy are motivated to explore and try out new solutions to their problems.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that a long-term solution to mental and emotional problems, and the pain they cause, cannot be brought about solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that interfere with our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. In 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?
We do not currently accept or bill private, or government insurances. We accept checks, cash, and most credit cards for payment. You may, however, be able to bill your own private insurance for reimbursement directly to you. You can usually obtain the required forms from your insurance company. If you decide to file a claim with your own insurance for reimbursement, we will provide you with any information, records, or signatures that are required. Under exceptional circumstances we do provide reduced fees for services for a limited number of clients.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components of a client and psychotherapist relationship. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with very sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. 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. In this instance a "Release of Information" form must be signed by the client.
Please be aware that, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present 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.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
* If the client has indicated that they have committed, or intend to committ a serious crime.