Questions About Therapy
What is therapy?
Therapy involves creating a warm and trusting relationship with a professional where you work on goals that are important to you. People seek out therapy for many different reasons. Therapy can help you work through internal problems like improving your mood, reducing anxiety, stopping unhelpful habits, or working through difficult thoughts and emotions. Therapy can also help you learn to cope with difficult situations such as working through the loss of a loved one or navigating difficult relationships, career issues, and family issues. Research has shown that therapy can help people make meaningful and lasting changes in their lives.
Why should I consider therapy?
Most of the time, we don’t need to seek professional help. Significant others, family members, friends, spiritual counselors, and other supportive people often provide all of the support we need. However, sometimes there are problems that are just too big. Sometimes we have problems that require the help of a professional. If you are reading this, you have probably already tried getting help every way you know how. If you have been feeling stuck for a long time, therapy can help you get unstuck and achieve goals that are important to you.
What is your approach to therapy?
My passion is to help people through some of the most difficult times in their lives. If you decide to work with me, I will help you make progress in the areas you want to work on. I believe that good therapy starts with a trusting and collaborative relationship. My approach in therapy is nonjudgmental, down-to-earth, and evidence-based. I’ve had comprehensive training in psychotherapies including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy. I provide treatments based on each of my client’s individual needs. I have expertise in providing therapy for PTSD and trauma-related disorders. I also see clients with depression, anxiety, and adjustment concerns due to common sources of stress like relationship problems/divorce, health problems, problems with work, and major life events.
How can I choose a therapist?
Therapy involves an investment in time, energy, and money. Finding a therapist you feel comfortable with is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a therapist. It is also important to consider a therapist’s licensure status, level of training, and clinical experience. I encourage you to discuss the below questions with me during a free telephone consultation:
Do you have a license to practice by the state?
What are your credentials?
How much experience do you have working with the types of problems I need help with?
Could you describe how you work with someone like me?
How long do you think we will need to meet before I start feeling better?
How much does therapy cost?
Do you take my insurance?
What can I expect when I start therapy?
When I meet with a client for the first time, I conduct an intake evaluation. This usually lasts for two 45-minute sessions. If possible, I would prefer to schedule the initial session for 90 minutes. During this initial session, I will ask you for information about your life such as your background, your goals, where in your life you are struggling, and where in your life you are succeeding. Should you decide to work with me after our initial session, we will create a plan to help you make progress toward goals that are important to you. This typically involves weekly sessions in the beginning, although after some time we can arrange for less frequent appointments. I also may give you things to work on in between sessions so that you can make faster progress toward your goals.
How long should I plan on being in therapy?
How long you will be in therapy depends on a number of things. Therapy is likely to end when:
You experience an improvement in the problems that initially caused you to start therapy.
You have achieved or made meaningful progress toward your goals.
We both come to an agreement that you are no longer in need of therapy.
You decide that you are no longer making progress or that therapy with me is no longer helpful. If this occurs, I will work with you to find another provider.
Will our sessions be confidential?
In order to be able to share what you need to in therapy, you need to feel comfortable that what you say will remain confidential. As a licensed psychologist, I am held accountable to strict professional ethics, which include policies regarding confidentiality. State law also protects your right to confidentiality in therapy. However, there are limited circumstances when information discussed in therapy may need to be released to a third party. If you would like me to coordinate with your other health providers such as your physician or psychiatrist, I will need your written authorization before releasing any information.
State law also allows for the release of information shared in therapy in certain emergencies or concerns regarding safety. These circumstances include:
If I have reason to believe that you are at imminent risk of harm to yourself or others
The suspected current or past abuse of children, the elderly, or disabled persons.
In these situations, I may release limited information to keep you or someone else safe.
How can I contact you?
I am usually not immediately available by telephone and do not answer my phone when I am with clients. I check my voicemail as often as I can during daytime hours and return calls as quickly as I can. I make every effort to return your call on the same day you make it. With the exception of weekends and holidays, I return all calls within 48 hours. If you feel the need for greater availability, please bring this to my attention and we can discuss options. In a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Sessions are not conducted via telephone. If I will be unavailable for an extended time I’ll provide you with the name of a colleague to contact, if necessary.