I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then.You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, and for whatever reason, they aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.
How long before I can get my first appointment?
When someone first calls, I do my best to fit in an appointment within two weeks.
How can I know if someone is the right therapist for me?
Even after the first telephone call, having a session is probably the best way for people to assess whether a therapist is right for them. Research suggests that more important than type of therapy is the quality of the relationship between the client and therapist.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment time varies for each person. Depending on a person’s goals, I may suggest that we agree to a limited number of sessions. When the goal or number of sessions are completed, we then decide whether it makes sense to continue to meet. Sometimes, people work for a period of time and then come back months or even years later. I work with people short and long term.
Do I need a referral?
No. Physicians, other professionals, and current clients make referrals but you can call on your own.
Do you take my insurance?
Most people who see me pay privately, and the only major insurance panel I have remained on is Aetna. I work for clients not for insurance companies, and have resigned from panels that I found intrusive in issues of treatment, patients’ privacy, or that have required too much time interacting with bureaucracies on my part. Although it has become standard for people to look “in network,” this may be penny- wise and pound-foolish.
Finding the best therapist for yourself is most cost beneficial long-term.
In the behavioral and mental health fields, many professionals who could have opted out of networks. Insurance companies promote less individualized and more diagnosis-driven treatments. The rationale given for insurance companies is to keep health costs down but this does not seem to have happened. What has happened instead is that people who have never met clients make decisions about their treatments, and require that time be spent by clients and therapists on bureaucratic telephone calls and paper work. I prefer to devote my time to my clients and to improving my skills as a therapist.
Decisions about treatment length and kind should be made by me and my clients, sometimes with input from other doctors.
If clients want, I give them receipts with a diagnosis and all of the information needed so they can submit to their insurance company for out of network benefits.
Part of most therapy is helping people to make educated choices, including about choosing a therapist. I am willing to discuss my policy and fee with any client or potential client; I am also willing to discuss fee reductions for people who need that.
Not everyone who comes for treatment has an illness; many people struggle with normal life difficulties and with finding ways to use more of their potential. Insurance companies do not recognize the need for this kind of work.
Do you work with my psychiatrist and other doctors?
Clients need to sign a release to allow this communication. I think it is in clients interest that treating professionals speak to each other.
Are the articles you write on your blog meant as therapeutic advice?
No. Therapy is individualized and is a process. Please see the disclaimer.