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, like eating disorders or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life, such as tensions during engagement, a divorce, or work transition. Many seek out psychotherapy as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working together can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can also help address many types of emotional issues, including grief, stress management, conflict, weight and body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of life by creating greater self-awareness and working towards positive change.
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.
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, creative blocks, and body image issues. As an eating disorder specialist, I can help you move beyond just controlling symptoms, and help you arrive at a deeper understanding of what underlies and perpetuates your eating and thinking patterns. Many people also find that therapists 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 help point you in the direction of a solution. Therapy is a collaborative effort; the benefits you obtain 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
- Understanding the role food has served in your life and helping you find more nourishing ways of feeding yourself
- 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
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 sessions, where each session lasts around forty-five 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 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 feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor 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 individualized approach to wellness that puts your unique needs at its center.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Every insurance company is different, and even policies written by the same company may offer different benefits. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage for a "parity" diagnosis?
- 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?
It will be most helpful if you have this information available when we talk.
While I no longer work directly with insurance companies, I can provide you with a "superbill" to submit to your insurer.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a patient and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the patient. 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 an individual is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the police.
- If an individual intends to harm himself or herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if the individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.