Why do people seek therapy?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Usually 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.
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 clarifying personal goals, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, work stressors 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
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.
Most people don’t have insurance for psychotherapy. But if you think you do and want to use it, please let me know at the outset. As a general policy, I do not accept insurance assignments, HMO referrals or managed care agreements and I request my clients to pay me directly. I will give you a bill with the necessary information for you provider (your insurer may not cover missed or phone sessions). However, be aware of losses of privacy. Typically a “diagnosis” must be stated. If the insurer requests my notes or a summary from me, I’m required to comply. Please be aware that when you submit an insurance claim, the confidential information that I send may be stored in databases. This data will likely be accessible to other health insurers, as well as life or disability insurance companies.
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much do you pay for an out-of-net 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.