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
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 support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they could benefit from a listening ear and a helping hand, and self-awareness is a trait to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to affect your 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.
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 struggling to handle stressful circumstances. Some people are looking for assistance in managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement to get 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. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are looking to meet the challenges in their lives and explore their options for change.
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 regularly scheduled sessions with your therapist.
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, observing particular behaviors, or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are interested in seeing positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives, and take responsibility for their lives.
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 can help you determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. However, your therapist does not prescribe medication; only a medical doctor can do that.
I do not take insurance, but if you have mental health coverage, I will be glad to provide you a receipt you can submit for reimbursement, or recommend someone who does take your insurance. To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- 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?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders requires therapists to report to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
How much does a session cost? Rates current as of January, 2022:
$120 per 50 minute session for individuals
$130 per 50 minute session for couples/families; $200 per 90 minute session
$275 per 2 hour Discernment Counseling session for couples
Services are provided on a session-by-session basis, meaning that you can choose to continue or end all services at any point. Payment is due at the time of the session and may be paid by major credit card, check, or cash. Sessions cancelled with 24 hour or less notice may be billed. Pursuant to the "No Surprises Act," note that the total cost of therapy for a year will be the number of sessions you schedule multiplied by the price of the session (for example, 10 fifty-minute sessions @ $120=$1200). Because there is no set number of sessions required, and each client on an individual basis determines the amount of time they spend in therapy, no absolute annual cost can be determined.
Is therapy confidential?
Yes. Generally speaking, unless you are a threat of harm to yourself or others, what you tell your therapist is confidential, particularly your individual therapist. See Privacy & Policy for more details. Please note that I am a mandatory reporter of abuse or neglect of a child or an elderly person, and that I cannot help one partner keep a trust-destroying secrets from the other if I am working with the couple as my client.