I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. 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. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths.
In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
Therapists can provide a fresh perspective, support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, and stress management.
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:
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new, positive ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, anxiety, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Getting “unstuck” by changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals, boundaries, and values
- Feeling validated and understood
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is that a therapist can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself.
Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. 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. In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
What can I expect to happen during our first session?
Many people may feel nervous about attending the first session. I make every effort to make this step easy and comfortable for you. The first session is really about getting to know each other and determining whether we’re a good fit. During the first session, we will briefly go over these forms you filled out ahead of time and any questions you may have. You are welcome to provide feedback, share only as much information you feel comfortable sharing, and determine whether we are a good fit for your therapy needs.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
I am an “out of network” provider and most insurance plans will reimburse some part of the cost of seeing an out of network provider. I ask that you pay my fee each session.
I prefer to remain out of network because in network providers are required to provide information about the client in order to get treatment approved. When people use their insurance for mental health services they must be given a psychiatric diagnosis for those services to be covered (such as depression, bipolar, general anxiety, PTSD). Once the person has received a psychiatric diagnosis it becomes a permanent part of their medical history. Insurance companies determine which diagnosis warrant treatment and for how long. Therefore, many people prefer to maintain their complete confidentiality by paying out of pocket for sessions.
In addition, many individuals who seek mental health services do not warrant a diagnosis, yet would greatly benefit from therapeutic services. I do not believe that this should keep individuals from seeing a therapist and improving their overall satisfaction with their life.
Even an out of network provider is required to put a diagnostic code on statements, but at least no further personal information is required. If you decide that you would like to get reimbursed, I will give you a statement that has everything on it that you need to submit to your insurance company so you can get reimbursed directly. I am happy to talk further about this important issue if you have concerns about insurance and confidentiality.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. At times 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.
No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law and professional ethics.
- If the therapist has reason to believe that there is ongoing harm to a child, a dependent adult, or an elder. 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 and inform the intended victim.
- If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming himself or herself, the therapist must take steps to protect the client, which may include calling an ambulance or otherwise breaking confidentiality.
- If a judge orders release of records for legal proceedings. This is an unusual occurrence.