Choosing someone to support you is an important decision. Below are some answers to common questions you might have about the process to help you make an informed decision.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is not just “talking about your problems”; it is also working toward solutions. Some therapy may involve homework, such as tracking your moods, writing about your thoughts, or participating in activities that have caused anxiety in the past. You might be encouraged to look at things in a different way or learn new ways to react to events or people.
If you are in treatment for an eating disorder, you will be supported to change your eating patterns and build a healthier relationship with food and your body.
Psychotherapy is different from medical treatments, where patients typically sit passively while professionals work on them and tell them their diagnosis and treatment plans.
Psychotherapy isn't about a psychologist telling you what to do. It's an active collaboration between you and the psychologist.
The key to successful therapy is the relationship between the psychologist and patient. We work together to set goals, identify strategies for working on them and solve challenges that arise in the process.
How can I benefit from therapy?
Psychotherapy can help you:
- Understand your illness and develop self-compassion.
- Define and reach wellness goals.
- Overcome fears or insecurities.
- Cope effectively with stress.
- Understand how past traumatic experiences have impacted you.
- Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms.
- Improve relationships with family and friends.
- Establish a stable, dependable routine.
- Develop a plan for coping with crises.
- Address destructive habits such as substance abuse, eating disorder behaviors, overspending or unhealthy sex.
What does a typical session look like? How long does treatment take?
Sessions are usually 30-90 minutes long, depending on what works best for you and what we are working on. Most clients are seen once or twice a week in the beginning, then, as time goes on, less frequently. The number of sessions depends on what your current needs are. The length of time a client is in therapy depends on the nature of the problem and the goals of treatment. Some clients have a very specific problem that can be worked through in a set number of structured sessions. For others, therapy is an on-going learning process and they choose to receive counseling for a longer period.
How many sessions will I have to go for?
Most clients are seen once or twice a week in the beginning, then, as time goes on, less frequently. The number of sessions depends on what your current needs are. The length of time a client is in therapy depends the nature of the problem and the goals of treatment. Some clients have a very specific problem that can be worked through in a set number of structured sessions. For others, therapy is an on-going learning process and they choose to receive counseling for a longer period.
Do you accept insurance?
My practice is not in-network with insurance companies. I do provide bills that contain all the information needed for you to claim reimbursement from your insurance company How much will be covered depends on your insurance provider and the plan that you have.
Do I really need therapy? Can't I just figure it out on my own?
Often people think it is a sign of weakness to ask for help and believe they should solve their own problems. But it actually takes tremendous strength and courage to decide to seek therapy and participating in therapy is challenging work.
Here are some signs that you could benefit from therapy:
- You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.
- Your problems don't seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
- You find it difficult to concentrate on work or to carry out other everyday activities.
- You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
- Your actions, such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, unhealthy eating behaviors or being aggressive, are harming you or others.
What is the role of medication?
Medication can be of benefit for some mental health problems, but not all. Research indicates that medication is more helpful when combined with psychotherapy. It is best to consult with a psychiatrist, a medical professional who specializes in mental health to determine whether or not medication will be helpful for you.
Why choose the services of a psychologist?
- Psychologists who specialize in psychotherapy and other forms of psychological treatment are highly trained professionals with expertise in mental health assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and behavior change.
- After graduating from a four-year undergraduate college or university, psychologists spend an average of seven years in graduate education and training to earn a doctoral degree. That degree may be a PhD, PsyD or EdD.
- As part of their professional training, psychologists must complete a supervised clinical internship in a hospital or organized health setting. In most states, they must also have an additional year of post-doctoral supervised experience before they can practice independently in any health care arena. It is this combination of doctoral-level training and clinical internship that distinguishes psychologists from many other mental health care providers.
- Psychologists pass a national examination and must be licensed by the state or jurisdiction in which they practice. Licensure laws are intended to protect the public by limiting licensure to those who are qualified to practice psychology as defined by state law. Most states also require psychologists to stay up-to-date by earning several hours of continuing education credits annually.