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, trauma, grief, stress management, and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, 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. 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
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
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 not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them 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 ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different for everyone. 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 or bi-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?
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.
Do you take insurance?
I do not bill insurance. However, many insurance plans will reimburse some of the fee for out-of-network services. I am happy to provide a superbill for you to submit to your insurance company. It is recommended that you call your insurance company to ask about out-of-network reimbursement.
There are many reasons why I do not bill insurance directly. First and foremost, I want to protect your confidentiality. Anyone involved in processing your claim will have access to your mental health records. Additionally, the insurance company will require a mental health diagnosis. Many people want to learn skills or work on relationship issues and these situations don’t necessarily mean there is a mental health diagnosis to be given. Insurance companies often limit the types of therapy they will pay for or the number of sessions they will pay for. This could limit the progress you make in therapy. For these reasons, I leave it up to each client to decide if they would like to involve their insurance company and will happily provide a ”superbill” if you choose to seek reimbursement.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
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 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 treated to harm another person.
Do you offer groups?
Yes! I offer a DBT based group for adults and a group for Veterans. For more information visit the DBT connect page.
Can you help me with my DCS (Department of Child Safety) case or court ordered treatment?
Unfortunately, I am unable to work with anyone who has an open DCS case or is court ordered for treatment. This is for your benefit! If you are involved in a case, even if therapy is considered to be voluntary, you want to see a counselor who is experienced with DCS and the court system. In most cases, even with voluntary treatment, the court will request records and will want proof that you are meeting the requirements they have made for your specific case. It is in your best interest to see a counselor who is familiar with DCS and the criminal justice system. I am happy to provide a referral if you need one.