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, 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 extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the 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.
Our relationships with the external world around us play a pivotal role in who we become. From our families of origin to our significant others, our connections with people in our lives influence our journeys. A marriage & family therapist works with individuals, couples and families, and with each client, he or she considers the relationships the person is embedded in as part of the overall treatment plan. Why is this important? According to the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy, studies indicate that marriage & family therapy is as effective, and in some instances, more effective than standard and/or individual treatments for mental health issues. For example, if you are a parent with a teenager who is self-harming, I can work with both the teen and the parents to help create a treatment plan that involves all members of the family. This offers numerous benefits, including helping to share skills and resources so that the parents can become coaches at home outside of therapy in supporting the overall treatment plan. As a marriage & family therapist, the focus is brief and solution focused with an end in mind as you move forward.
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.
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 regular sessions with your therapist (usually 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.
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.
What are your fees, and do you take insurance?
While we do not accept insurance, our standard 50 minute session fee of $50.00 is comparable to some insurance copays. Initial intake (first) sessions for couples or families, where more than 1 person is present, are approximately 90 minutes and are $75.00 for the 90-minute session. This allows additional time to meet with the couple or family, review paperwork, get to know one another, establish boundaries, etc. Payment can be remitted using check, cash or a credit/debit card.
Why do we not accept insurance? Three key reasons:
- Confidentiality & Privacy - Ultimately, one of the key success factors for successful treatment outcomes is ensuring clients feel safe and heard within the confidential space of the therapy room, which we foster and protect on behalf of clients. Sharing your treatment information with a third party creates a paper trail that neither client nor therapist have ownership nor control of.
- Future Access to Benefits - In order to provide coverage for mental health services, your insurance company will require a diagnosis as part of the claims process, which is submitted to your insurance provider. This carries a certain amount of risk to confidentiality and privacy as your diagnosis remains on record indefinitely via your insurance carrier's documentation and may negatively effect access to obtain future benefits, such as health or life insurance.
- Control of Treatment - Along with requiring a diagnosis, insurance companies determine tenets such as treatment frequency and number of sessions. As the expert in your journey, we honor that as we build a collaborative treatment plan, seeking to provide the greatest quality that is the best fit for you. Additionally, the requirement of a diagnosis should not be a requirement for treatment nor something that is on your permanent medical record.
How does insurance work?
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 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.