Why should I go to therapy?
So that the unhealthy patterns in your life can be stopped. Even people whose lives are going well can benefit from therapy. My theory has long been that therapy should be “preventative rather than reparative”, and one way to make that happen is to enter therapy sooner rather than later. It is your decision and finding “good and qualified” mental health treatment can help you have a person who will listen, a mentor who will guide and a supporter who will comfort. This combination can help you see what is not working, and start learning what will work in your life. Whether it is grief, a work related issue, family, children, etc, etc, you can change your life now. The old stigma of therapy is that it’s only for crazy people, and I want to “make therapy normal” which means making each session beneficial to you.
What is the difference between a therapist and a paid friend?
A good therapist is trained to see things a friend cannot. A friend is a part of your everyday life and has experienced part of your life with you. It’s the same reason a parent cannot fix the problems their child has, because they have been a part of that problem and some of the child’s issues relate to the parent. A friend is very often biased and does not see things objectively. Likewise the friend is not trained to see patterns, and know how to help you work through those patterns. Lastly, if a friend is your therapist, it changes the relationship and your friendship is no longer the same, because you have spilled out deep emotions and made yourself very vulnerable. I always say, try out counseling with a “good therapist” and see for yourself. There is good and bad, so one therapist is not like all the others. Just remember, a therapist is qualified and trained to help you work through things, and a friend does not always have the skills needed to help.
Is therapy only for really bad problems?
No. Therapy is meant to keep problems from happening. Some of the most successful clients I have ever treated came in before things got really bad, and left prepared in case something happens in the future. I want to equip people with the tools to help them in life, so they don’t have to NEED therapy all the time. Once a problem gets bad enough, people typically need more therapy because things are so broken. Everyone can benefit from therapy, even if it’s having one “just in case” for the future. Again, therapy is needed less if it’s started before things get really bad, so try it out today!
What is therapy like?
Most of the time, it is not what you think. Therapy has come a long way over the past several decades, and is now a very comfortable and enlightening experience. There are good therapist’s and there are bad therapist’s, just like every other profession. The important thing to remember about therapy is that you should feel comfortable and confident about who you are seeing. If you do not, then you should seek out another professional. Not every therapist matches up well with every client. You should be able to call and talk with a potential therapist for 5-10 minutes and ask questions about who they are and whether they feel comfortable working with your situation. Then, if you feel comfortable you can set up an intake session to go over your situation and hear the therapist’s treatment plans. If you like what you hear and feel more comfortable, you will want to set up more sessions and proceed with treatment. If you are not comfortable then you could say thank you and I’d like to interview other professionals. I want to make sure you go somewhere you are comfortable with, not somewhere you feel stuck with. Always remember you can ask any questions you like and should not commit to treatment until you are confident about the professional and their treatment plan.
Do you prescribe medication or do psychological testing?
No. I am a Masters level therapist and concentrate on doing counseling with clients. The professionals that do testing are generally doctoral level therapist’s, or Ph.D. The professionals that do the prescribing of medication are psychiatrists or M.D.. If you would like more information or a referral for testing or medication, I would be happy to help you find a competent and qualified professional.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage 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?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- 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 the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.