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, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. There is great value in exploring and understanding how past experiences continue to influence us in the present. Providing a safe, confidential, and suppportive enviroment in which to explore the meaning of important past and current relationships is paramount in this exploration.
Do I really need therapy?
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you have faced, there is 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 requires courage. Some people find that discussing and processing significant emotional experiences is in-and-of-itself beneficial. A deeper understanding of our own desires and motivations leads to an increased capacity to establish and maintain meaningful relationships. Therapy can be used to gain insight and perspective in order to realize our full potential.
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 trauma, 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. 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 appear to resurface repeatedly
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communication and listening skills
- Learning and improving parenting skills
- Obtaining support and learning strategies to cope with parenting a child with a disability
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Enhancing your ability to cope with a chronic illness or the emotional impact of being a caregiver
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 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 sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. By seeking psychotherapy you are taking responsibility, working toward self-change, and creating greater awareness in your life. 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
What about medication?
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. In addition to 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.
Can I use insurance?
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 first?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, confidentiality is vital for the success of any therapeutic relationship. Information shared between a client and therapist is not disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, the law delineates the following exceptions:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent 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, in some cases, additional measures may need to be taken.
Whenever possible, therapists should discuss the need to make these exceptions and break confidentiality when required by law.