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Counseling Services

Individual
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Common Questions

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking therapy is an individual choice and there are many reasons why people make that choice. Sometimes people seek therapy to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Often, people seek therapy in response to unexpected changes in their lives, such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a counselor as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth.  Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for the many challenges that are encourtered in life, including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy helps people get the most out of their lives by teaching them when and how to take responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and identifying appropriate ways to make positive changes in their lives.


Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while an individual may have successfully navigated through prior difficulties,it is generally helpful to seek the guidance and support of a professional therapist.  In fact, therapy can be most beneficial for people who have sufficient self-awareness to realize that they need a helping hand, and this is a great starting point and something to be admired.  those who seek therapy are taking responsibility for their own lives by acknowledging some challenging or uncomfortable situation and making a commitment to change it for the better.  They find that therapy offers long-lasting benefits and support, provides the tools needed to avoid triggers, redirects damaging patterns, and helps to overcome whatever challenges they face.


How can therapy help me?

Many 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 problems, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress, body image, 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 and, 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, improved patterns
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in family or marriage relationships
  • Improving self-esteem and boosting self-confidence


What is therapy like?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and her or his specific goals. It is standard procedure 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, with each session lasting about 50 minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or it can be longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth.  At times, the therapist may request that certain actions be taken 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 utilize it between sessions. Therapy is most effective for active participants, both during and between the sessions. People seeking therapy are willing should be willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things that can be expected from therapy.

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for creating positive changes
  • 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. The physician, working with the therapist, can determine what's best for a given individual.  It is well established that medicine alone is rarely a good, long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause.  Thus, therapy addresses the cause of distress and the behavior patterns that impede progress instead of just treating symptoms.  Sustainable growth, improvement, and a greater sense of well-being can be achieved best with an integrative approach to wellness.


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. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the amount of coverage 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?


Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.

However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule, including:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult abuse or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report such occurrences to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • Threats of serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police when such threats are made.
  • Potential self-inflicted harm. The therapist will make every effort to work with every client to ensure her or his safety. However, if an individual is non-cooperative with the therapist relative to this issue, additional measures may have to be taken.

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