How can therapy help me?
Feeling unsatisfied in your relationships or career? Is your anxiety or sadness getting in the way of identifying and realizing life goals and aspirations? Do you see yourself repeating various patterns and feel unable to change them? Learned habits from the past can persist into adulthood and frustrate your ability to realize mature goals with relationships and in your career. A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, career issues, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Therapy can provide the tools to release you from old patterns which by better managing anxiety and worries in a safe and caring environment. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships and career aspirations
- 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 communication and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family, marriage and relationships
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
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, there is nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. You are taking responsibility for your life by 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 may 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 or psychoanalysis. 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, addiction, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can provide much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and/or 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 (usually weekly) with your therapist.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well-established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptoms, therapy addresses the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor and therapist 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?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask your insurance provider:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount or copay 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?
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. You can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone - this is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), however, by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your prior written permission.
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, 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 threated to harm another person.