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Common Questions

Why do people seek therapy ?

People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.

What can I expect in a therapy session?

If you are a parent bringing your child or adolescent to therapy, you can expect to be a big part of the process.  I believe that parents are part of the solution, and I will work closely with you regarding your child's care.  However, in order for therapy to be effective, children and adolescents must trust that I will maintain their confidence.  Therefore, I assist children and teens in talking with their parents, rather than reporting back to parents what kids are telling me.  I usually do a brief check in with parents, followed by the majority of time spent with the child/adolescent.

As a therapy client, you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 45-50 minutes.  Usually weekly or bi-weekly sessions are best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records. For therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. 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 and your personal goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
  • Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?

If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy, your first task is to figure that out. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a powerful method of therapy.  A number of scientific studies have proven that EMDR is highly effective and that results are long-lasting.  I have seen EMDR be an effective treatment for PTSD as well as other forms of anxiety, grief, phobias, disturbing memories and core beliefs that hold you back.  During EMDR, the therapist works with the client to identify a specific problem to be the focus of the treatment session.  The client calls to mind the disturbing issue or event, what was seen, felt, heard, thought, etc., and what thoughts and beliefs are currently held about that event.  The therapist facilitates by directional movement to access both sides of the brain to work together.  The therapist coaches the client through the process, and clients generally report tremendous relief!  Ask me if EMDR is right for you.  For more information, visit emdr.com

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

I am a credentialed provider for Value Options, Anthem/Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Aetna.  However, I always discuss the pros and cons of using your insurance for your mental health care.  I am glad to assist you with necessary paperwork if you choose to submit claims for seeing me as an Out of Network Provider.  If you choose to use your insurance benefits, check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How much do you pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
  • Is primary care physician approval required?

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.
  • If a client is a threat to National Security. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.

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