How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What is being in therapy like?
Its like having a friend who not only inspires hope, but also is empathetic to your situation, will push you when you need to be pushed, and walk beside you through this time in your life. A good therapist can help you gain insight that perhaps you didn’t have before and help you move to a point with your challenges that you can confidently overcome them on your own.
How can someone help me who has never been through what I have been through?
I heard someone say one time, “The best drug counseling I ever got was from a former addict.” That may be a true statement, but often, its good to get help from someone who is not reliving their situation through yours or in fact can completely see your situation objectively because they have never through it. While many therapist have not had the same life experiences as their clients, an objective professional trained in specific therapy techniques are well equipped to support you through most situations.
What if I don’t like my therapist?
I believe one of the most important factors in determining if you will benefit from therapy is whether your therapist is a good fit for you. Unlike going to see other kinds of healthcare professionals, the relationship you build with your therapist plays a significant role in your progress. Like your other relationships, sometimes there’s an instant connection and sometimes it takes a little time. My general rule of thumb is 3 sessions. If you are still not comfortable or feel like your therapist can help you achieve your therapy goals, then try another therapist.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
The insurances I currently accept are Passport, WellCare, Anthem BC/BS Medicaid. Some of my clients treat me as an “Out of Network” provider. In that case, these clients pay for their sessions out of pocket, then submit their invoice to their insurance company for reimbursement. Please check with your insurance company for how they deal with out of network providers. To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Information shared in therapy sessions is confidential except for situations that I am bound by Kentucky law to report. These specific situations pertain to spousal abuse, child abuse, or the endangerment of others.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and 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 threated to harm another person.
Will I be in therapy indefinitely?
Generally, the answer to this question is no. A typical duration for therapy is 6 to 10 sessions. If you are using insurance, you may be restricted in the number of sessions your insurance company will pay for and that may depend on your diagnosis.