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Common Questions About Therapy

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why you might come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with such long-standing challenges as food, weight, body image or compulsive exercise issues; so choosing an eating disorders specialist becomes the important first step in recovery. Or perhaps therapy is in response to unexpected changes in life such as the end of a relationship, moving  or work transition. Regardless of what brings you to therapy, working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues from eating disorders to depression, anxiety, grief, stress management, and general life transitions. There can be more than one issue going on at the same time, maybe without your even realizing it, so it is important to look for a therapist skilled in a wide range of issues. Therapy is right for you if you are interested in reaching out for the support you deserve, getting the most out of your life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in your life.

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

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 falling into old behaviors, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

For those struggling with food, weight, body image, or compulsive exercise there are certain challenges which can overwhelm every area of life. This is when recovery relies on partnership with a skilled professional. You don't have to be overwhelmed and alone anymore.

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from your participation in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for a wide range of profound and deeply distressing issues. Many people also find that therapy can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, unresolved childhood issues, marriage difficulties, creative blocks 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 in sessions and inbetween, and how you put into practice what you learn. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Some of the benefits available to you from therapy include:

  • Changing your relationship to food and to yourself
  • Letting go of body self hatred
  • Creating and supporting a solid recovery from addictions
  • 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 improving self-confidence

What is therapy like? 

Every therapy session is unique and centers on you and your unique, specific needs. It is standard for you and I to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common for us to schedule sessions weekly,  each session lasting around fifty minutes. Our work can be short-term, focusing on an immediate, specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues such as eating disorders or addictions, or for your ongoing personal growth. There may be times when I ask you to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what we have discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For our therapy to be most effective, I recommend that you be an active participant, both during and between sessions. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
  • Healthy challenges
  • Support and direction for your recovery process

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

In some but not every case a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with the appropriate doctor you can determine what's best for you, which may or may not involve looking at medication. 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 your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an approach to wellness that integrates a variety of modalities based on your unique needs.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

I do not accept insurance. However, many health insurance companies will provide coverage for "out of network" mental health treatment. I am happy to provide you with regular statements that contain information your insurance company may require. However, it will be your responsibility  to complete insurance forms and obtain any reimbursement. It is very important that you find out exactly what mental health services your insurance policy covers and the reimbursement amount as I will not contact your insurance company directly.

Asking your insurance carrier the following questions may be helpful:

  • 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?

Is therapy confidential?

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

However, therapists are required by law to break confidentiality in the following circumstances:

  • If a therapist suspects child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse they are required to report it immediately to the appropriate authorities.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person(s) therapists are required to notify the police and inform the intended victim(s).
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself therapists make every effort to work with the individual to maintain their safety. However, if the client is unable to stay safe, additional measures may need to be taken to ensure safety.