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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can benefit from therapy?

Just about anyone can benefit. No problem is too big or small. Listed below are just a few examples of some common concerns which bring people to counseling:

  • Symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Life adjustment issues such as homesickness, academic problems, and long-distance relationships
  • Interpersonal difficulties, including , family problems, romantic relationship concerns, problems with assertiveness, and other issues
  • Bereavement and grief related to the loss of a loved one (such as relationship breakups, deaths, parental divorce, or other major losses)
  • Experience with sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, abuse, or other trauma
  • Thoughts of suicide, death, or hurting others

 

When shoud I seek counseling?

While counseling can be helpful for a wide variety of situations, there are some common circumstances in which we would strongly encourage one to seek counseling services: 

  • You feel overwhelmed by what is going on in your life
  • You are unhappy on most days or feel a sense of hopelessness
  • You worry excessively or are constantly on edge
  • You are unable to concentrate on your work, schoolwork or other activities
  • You are unable to sleep at night or constantly feel tired
  • You have experienced a change in your appetite or your weight
  • You have experienced a loss (e.g., a relationship breakup, a parent's death)
  • You have increased your use of alcohol or other drugs (including cigarettes)
 
How can therapy help?
 
Our therapists are trained to 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 even creative blocks. Many people also find counseling to be a tremendous asset to managing their personal growth and improving their ability to cope with stress. Benefits obtained 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 your values
  • Developing skills for improving interpersonal 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

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle problems on my own.  
  
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life. While in many cases people can successfully navigate through difficulties on their own, there are times when extra support is needed. Those who seek therapy often have enough self-awareness to realize they could benefit from extra support. 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 gives 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 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 ready to make changes in their lives. 
 
  
What is therapy like?
 
Because each person has different needs and goals for therapy, no two sessions look exactly the same. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and any progress or insights gained from your 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 and work on 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. Beyond the work you do in your session, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your progress, such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. 
 
 
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 symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our 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 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 them:
  • 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? 
 
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.   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.  This is called “Informed Consent”.  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.
 
However, 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 threated to harm another person.
 
 
If you have additional questions that we have not answered here, please give us a call at 612-968-6097 or email [email protected]