Do I really need therapy? I have never needed counseling/therapy in the past.
Everyone is unique. However, each individual will experience challenging situations in life. You may have successfully navigated through difficulties in the past, however there are times when extra support is needed. There is nothing wrong seeking assistance when you need it. Many individual, couples, and families seek therapy when they have the awareness to realize counseling will enhance their relationships and lives. You are taking the responsible action by accepting what you are currently experiencing and seeking out the assistance needed. In making this life decision you are making a commitment to your future and the changes needed for your well-being. Therapy will provide a long-lasting benefit for you, your family, and your working relationships by giving you the tools that you need to help you navigate through difficult circumstances. In therapy you will learn your triggers, and patterns, that have kept you from flourishing in the past. You will learn to overcome whatever challenges that you may face in the future.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. 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, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your 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
Is therapy right for me? Why do people go to therapy?
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 able to handle their current stressful circumstances as they would like. 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. Professionals may be looking for assistance in guiding their corporation to new heights and dealing with employee relations. 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. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges.
What is therapy like?
Each therapy session is unique and caters to each individual, couple, or family needs based on their specific goals. It is typical for therapists to discuss the primary concerns and issues in your life during the therapy session. It is normal to schedule weekly sessions. Each session will last approximately fifty minutes. 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 session. Examples include reading a relevant book, keeping records, tracking behaviors, or journaling, depending on the desires of the client and his or her goals. For the therapeutic process to work well, it is important for the clients to take time between sessions to process what has been discussed and integrate new information into their lives. For the therapy process to be effective the client must be an active participant, both during and between therapy sessions. Individuals, couples and families need to be willing to take responsibility for their actions, and work toward self-change to create a greater awareness within their lives. Some of the areas you can expect to receive from therapy include:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
In some cases medication combined with therapy may be the correct course of action. Working with your medical doctor will help to determine what is best for you. Research has demonstrated that a 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 with medication, therapy will address the cause of your distress and help you to identify causes and patterns that inhibit your progress. A holistic approach of biological, spiritual, emotional, social/cultural will be addressed in your therapeutic process to help you achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being.
How does insurance work? Can I get reimbursed from my insurance company?
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
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?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. 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.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.