How do I know if therapy is right for me?
The decision to seek out therapy can be a stressful experience. It is also an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes people have spent numerous years managing deeply-rooted psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression on their own and have been unable to find any alleviation. Other times people seek therapy in response to unexpected changes in their life such as a loss or work transition. People may also seek the advice of psychotherapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. There are several benefits a psychotherapist offers to people. Working with a psychotherapist can help provide insight, support and new strategies for all types of life challenges and transitions. Above all, the most important benefit anyone can get out of therapy is taking responsibility for their life.
What is the structure of treatment?
My sessions are usually 50 minutes long. However, there may be some exceptions to this if you are having a crisis. I am respectful and mindful of your time and will try very hard to start and end sessions on time. It is important that you are involved in the therapeutic process in order to reap the maximum benefit of therapy. My hope is that we can collaborate in sessions,identify issues and develop goals for their resolution. In order to accomplish this, it is very important that you bring to session the things that are important to you, ask for clarification, and share any thoughts, feelings, concerns or fears with me. I will listen to you. Finally, I encourage my clients to do work in- between- session. I may ask you to complete homework assignments such as journaling, practice skills learned in session and/or charting certain behaviors. Change can sometimes be slow and frustrating, however, it is important that you keep trying. Often times working through these changes will provide you with new ways of looking at your problems, which in turn will be helpful for changing your feelings and reactions to challenges you face.
How many sessions are required?
The answer for this question varies as it depends on the reason you are seeking therapy. People managing challenges such as work transitions often feel better in approximately 6- 12 sessions and others with more deeply rooted problems may require services for several months. However, it is quite rare that one or two sessions will provide people with help they may need. I encourage honest feedback throughout the therapeutic process and will respect your decision to end services once it has been made. Sometimes taking a break is a great way to practice skills learned in therapy.
Are your services confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. The information discussed in my office remains between you and I- even after services has been terminated. However, state law and professional ethics provides exceptions to this basic duty of confidentiality. As a mandated reporter, I have a professional, ethical, and legal responsibility to take immediate action in event of the following situations:
If there is suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, or elderly persons, a report must be made to the appropriate authorities (child protection and/or law enforcement) based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
- If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person, the therapist has a duty to warn and to protect.
You have the right to have your psychotherapist share information to other entities such medical provider, school and attorney. Psychotherapists cannot release this information without your written request.