Why do people seek therapy?
People enter into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are over-shadowed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking therapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.
What if I'm not sure about "Christian" counseling?
When you choose to participate in counseling, the goals and direction you take are yours to explore. I have worked successfully with clients across many denominations, cultures, and belief systems. Whether or not YOU choose to integrate your own cultural, spiritual, biblical, Christian or non-Christian perspectives is exactly that-- your choice!
What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 45-50 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.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Often it is helpful simply 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 managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, 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
- Finding 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 developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?
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.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
Most insurance policies cover mental health services. However, every policy is different and not every policy carries the same benefits for mental health coverage as with medical 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:
- 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 will my plan pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is there a cap or limit the plan will pay per session, am I responsible for the non-covered amount?
- Is primary care physician approval required?
- Is a pre-certification or authorization number required prior to first visit?
Is therapy confidential?
YES! Therapy is private and confidential and should be a priority for your therapist and clinic staff. In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a therapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include but ARE NOT limited to:
- 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 his/her cooperation in ensuring his/her safety. If he/she does not cooperate, further measures may be taken without permission in order to ensure everyone's safety.
- Additional limits of confidentiality will be discussed at your initial session prior to any personal disclosures.