Is therapy confidential?
Therapy must be confidential in order to be a trusted and safe resource. There are a few exceptions to this ethical and legal commitment to privacy:
- If a counselor believes that a child or elder is being abused, the counselor must make the safety of these vulnerable individuals a priority and contact authorities.
- If a client threatens to physically harm another person, authorities must be notified.
- If a client indicates a plan to harm him or herself, steps will be taken to work with the client to make a plan for his or her safety. If the client does not seem able to commit to a safe plan, additional steps to protect the client must be taken that may involve breaking confidentiality.
Is therapy a sign of weakness? Shouldn’t I be able to manage my own life?
Knowing when to seek help actually indicates that a person is managing his or her own life. Paying attention to your needs and problems or undertaking a personal exploration for growth with the help of a counselor may empower you in ways that you have long desired but have not yet discovered. The benefits of therapy are long-lasting, providing you with skills, insights and strategies that will assist you as you journey forward in life.
What is a counseling session like?
Each counseling session will be unique. At the first session, I will learn about the goals and issues that you want to work on in counseling through talking to you and asking some specific questions. I also will want to learn more about the context of your life. Although we will keep your original goals and issues in mind, subsequent sessions may reveal new or previously unrecognized goals or issues. Each counseling “hour” is about 50 minutes, but the most important therapy time is the other 167 hours in a week. To receive the greatest benefit from the work that we do together, between sessions it is important to reflect on what you discover during counseling sessions, try out new behaviors and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings.
When and how often are counseling sessions?
Appointments are available Monday through Friday, between 8 am and 7 pm. If there is an urgent need, weekend appointments are available on a limited basis for established clients. The usual scheduling pattern for counseling is to meet once a week for a period of time. After some progress is made we may decide to meet less frequently, perhaps on a biweekly or monthly basis. Many times a few appointments are sufficient to achieve your goals. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis to meet your needs.
Is medication a good substitute for therapy?
Medication can be very helpful for a variety of issues. For problems that can be helped with medication such as depression and anxiety, research has demonstrated that combinations of both talk therapy and medication produce a better outcome. Understanding the underlying causes or triggers for symptoms can help manage or even prevent the symptoms from returning. If symptoms have been longstanding, a behavior pattern can develop that perpetuates the symptoms. Problems can become a familiar habit. Therapy is effective in helping to recognize and change long-term habitual behavior that may interfere with living your best life.
Do you accept insurance?
I am a participating provider with many insurance companies and Employee Assistance Plans (EAP). To determine whether my services will be covered by your plan, contact your insurance carrier or your employer’s Human Relations Department. Some plans require an authorization number prior to our first meeting. Contact me if you have questions about working with your insurance company.