Why do people seek therapy?
People seek therapy for many reasons. In general, people seek therapy to feel better. Perhaps an unexpected event has caused you distress and you would like support as you sort things out. Or, perhaps you feel "stuck" in certain repetitive longstanding patterns. You may notice a recent change in your mood or outlook such that you are "not like your self." Or, you may have been feeling this way for so long that you cannot remember what it feels like to be carefree or happy. Your days may be interrupted by unexplained lows or swings in your mood.
Some people might need therapy more urgently insofar as their situations are chronic or life-threatening. Others might want therapy but think they don't need it because their problems are "not that bad." I believe that all who pursue therapy can benefit from it. It is important to remember that therapy "works" when you are motivated to take an honest look at yourself and make positive changes.
Couples entering therapy often express a desire to feel more connected to their partners, to get along better, to feel understood, seen, and more "on the same page" as their partner.
What can I expect at the first therapy session?
The first therapy session is called the "Initial Intake." This is when we meet for the first time. You can ask me questions about therapy and about my training. I will give you information about the practice and ask you to fill out forms. I will also ask you questions in order to find out what brings you to my office (your "presenting problems"). I will also obtain relevant background information (such as family history, relationship history, and so forth). We will discuss what you want to change (your "therapy goals"). If you are uncertain about your therapy goals, give this keen attention. Goals determine your direction in therapy. It is rather difficult to get somewhere in therapy if your goals are not clearly defined.
If you are coming to therapy with your partner, I will meet with you both of you first together and then once each separately, before coming together again in subsequent sessions to focus on your therapy goals. I utilize a number of different couples therapy approaches.
What can I expect in Individual and Couples Therapy?
Therapy is a collaborative partnership between us. You define the problem areas to be worked on. I may point out other problem areas if these emerge. I use my training to help you reach your therapy goals. At times, progress and change will be easy and quick. At other times, it will be slow. You will need to be patient with the change process. For therapy to work well, you will need to be an active participant. I will want you to tell me about your experiences, what they mean to you, and what thoughts and feelings you have about it. I may ask you to journal or give you other tasks that deepen the change process. Each therapy session lasts fifty minutes. On rare occasions, if clients are in extreme crisis, I see them twice weekly. Most of my clients see me once weekly for the first few months. After that, we may meet less often until therapy comes to an end.
PLEASE NOTE THAT people are either in INDIVIDUAL THERAPY OR in COUPLES THERAPY with me at any given time--one modality per person.
What are the benefits of seeing a psychologist?
The most immediate benefit of being in therapy is the feeling of being understood. You feel less alone in your pain, now that you can talk about it in a safe and private space. I can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem. I can help you have take self-care steps and have more genuine relationships with others. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn about yourself.
Here are some of the benefits of therapy:
~Attaining a better understanding of yourself and values
~Developing skills for improving your relationships
~Resolving the issues that led you to seek therapy
~Using better ways to cope with stress
~Managing your anger
~Improving your communication skills
~Enhancing your self-esteem
~Asserting yourself respectfully
~Getting out of the rut of unhealthy patterns
~Discovering new ways to solve your problems
~Increasing your self-confidence
~Enjoying a more balanced and relaxed life
How do I pay for therapy?
Insurance may cover most of the charge. If you have insurance, you will likely have to pay a co-pay amount at each session--the amount depends on the terms of your insurance coverage. Please call me to find out if I am a provider on your insurance panel. If you don't have insurance or if you wish to pay out of pocket, please call me to discuss your payment options.
Tell me about Confidentiality
Therapy is private and it is personal. I feel touched by my clients' openness and treat all information shared with great care. It is your legal right to have your sessions and your records kept private. In all but a few rare situations, your privacy is protected by state law and by the rules of my profession as a psychologist. Here are the most common cases in which confidentiality is not protected: 1)If you make a serious threat to kill yourself; 2)If you make a serious threat to harm another person; 3)If I suspect child abuse or dependant adult abuse or elder abuse.