Frequently Asked Questions
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
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 face.
Why do people go to therapy and when is it time for me to go to therapy?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask. You might want to read the page on this website that explains when it's time to consider therapy.
What will therapy be like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the 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 or your desire for more 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. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy? How do you feel about the use of medication?
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.
Are our sessions private and confidential?
The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist as “privileged communication,” and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
• Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
• If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
Do you conduct Teletherapy or phone sessions?
Yes, in certain circumstances. With the efforts to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, I am taking precautions to keep all my clients safe. During the "shelter in place" order begun in mid-March, 2020, I will be conducting therapy online via a HIPAA-compliant web portal, CounSol and/or meeting with clients by telephone. This is not ideal, but it is a great way of staying in connection during this time. Teletherapy is not suitable for clients who are having ongoing crises or emergencies. You can find out more about my teletherapy practice by going to my profile on CounselorListing.com.
Can I get this information in writing?
Yes. Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist and you shouldn’t have to memorize all my important policies. These are set out in writing in my “Informed Consent” form which you’ll review and sign when you begin therapy. I’ll give you a copy of this form. Sometimes, however, you may want me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Psychiatrist, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission. I’ll make sure to have you sign this form, called a “Release” form in order to get your permission to share information.