How can therapy help you?
At different times in our lives, we all need help from others. While friends and family can provide some support, sometimes what is needed is a fresh perspective from an experienced, compassionate therapist. Therapists can provide support and suggest problem-solving skills and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as anxiety, depression, loss/grief, relationship difficulties, and stress management.
Many people also find that therapists can be a great resource for managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, daily life stressors, or family concerns. Therapists can offer objectivity on difficult problems and help you identify options for solutions. Some of the benefits from therapy include:
- Gaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals, and values
- Learning more effective ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Managing strong emotions like anger, grief, and depression
- Improving communication and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
What is therapy like?
Each person has different concerns and goals for therapy, so therapy is different for each individual. In general, you can expect to discuss what is going on in your life, your personal history as it relates to your current problems, and how your issues are impacting your relationships. You will also report progress and any new insights you gained from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific concern, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult or long-standing issues or your wish for more personal growth. Either way, scheduling regular sessions with your therapist is the most effective way to resolve your problems.
Like everything else in life, what you get out of therapy depends on what you put into it. If you commit to and actively participate in the process, your results will likely be greater and will occur more quickly. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in your sessions back into your life. Your therapist may suggest things to practice at home such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are usually ready to make positive changes and are willing to do what it takes to create the lives they want and deserve.
What about medication vs. therapy?
It is well established that long-term solutions 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 causes of distress and the behavior patterns that negatively impact progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor and your therapist, you can determine what’s best for you.
Do you take insurance?
I am an out-of-network PPO provider and will provide you with a form to submit to your insurance plan to request a reimbursement of services. 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 are:
- 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 therapist. 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 or psychiatrist), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.*
The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how committed you are to the process and whether you put into practice what you learn. If you believe that therapy could help you, I welcome the opportunity to chat with you about your situation. Please call me at 858.243.2684 or email me.
*Exceptions: State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
- Suspected child abuse, dependent abuse, or elder abuse. Therapists are required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately. In addition, as of January 2015, this includes the use of child pornography.
- 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 him/herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the client to ensure their safety. However, if the client does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.