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Common Questions

Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a counselor as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

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 may face.

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. 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 to managing personal growth, 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, goals and values
    Developing skills for improving your relationships
    Finding resolution to the issues that led you to seek therapy
    Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
    Managing anger, grief, depression, & other emotions
    Improving communications and listening skills
    Changing old behavior patterns & developing new ones
    Discovering new ways to solve family or marriage problems 
    Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like? 

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly or bi-weekly sessions, where each session lasts around ninety minutes---that's how we accomplish so much so rapidly!  Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

    Compassion, respect and understanding
    Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative      
    Real strategies for enacting positive change
    Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

Sometimes, medication helps people "get over the humps" of life in a fast-paced world, full of emotional ups and downs; we can refer you to colleagues upsiairs who dispense those.  But there is really no substitute for "solving your problems" with the help of a caring and skillful therapist.  Whether the snags are in your growing-up, your intimate relationship, or your workplace, solutions can be found if you practice the cardinal virtues of kindness, honesty, courage, and willingness-to-learn.  I am here to model and support you in that.

In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor or our friendly psychiatrist, you can determine what's best for you. 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 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.

Do you accept insurance?
We are not on the in-house panels of any of the insuring agencies, but we have a sliding scale, so money is rarely a problem.  Our creative approaches to therapy, including psycho-synthesis, assure that your therapy with us will be brief.

Is therapy confidential?
Contents of all therapy sessions are considered to be confidential. Both verbal information and written records about a client cannot be shared with another party without the written consent of the client or the client’s legal guardian. Noted exceptions are as follows:

     Duty to Warn and Protect --- When a client discloses
       intentions or a plan to harm another person, the mental
       health professional is required to warn the intended victim
       and report this information to legal authorities. In cases
       in which the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide,
       the health care professional is required to notify legal
       authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify the
       family of the client.

     Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults --- If a client
       states or suggests that he or she is abusing a child (or
       vulnerable adult) or has recently abused a child (or
       vulnerable adult), or a child (or vulnerable adult) is
       in danger of abuse, the mental health professional
       is required to report this information to the appropriate
       social service and/or legal authorities.

    Prenatal Exposure to Controlled Substances --- 
      Mental Health care professionals are required to report
      admitted prenatal exposure to controlled substances that
      are potentially harmful.

    Minors/Guardianship --- Parents or legal guardians of
      non-emancipated minor clients have the right to access
      the clients’ records.



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