Is therapy right for me?
Do you feel overwhelmed by the issues that you are currently facing? Have you or a loved one recently been diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening, or chronic illness? Does it feel like you have faced an avalanche of challenges? Do you find yourself “censoring” when people ask how you are, so that you don’t “overload” or “worry” them? Does it feel like the ways that you would normally cope with problems aren’t helping you right now? Do you sometimes just wish that you had a place where you could talk openly about your struggles? If you answered yes to any of those questions, therapy might be right for you. Please feel free to email or call us to talk further about whether therapy is appropriate at this time, and whether one of our experienced clinicians will be a good fit for you. Our intake staff are extremely skilled at recommending therapists based on your needs.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
In our experience, even people who have good social support and strong coping skills can be overwhelmed when the circumstances of their lives shift suddenly. New stresses, such as an illness for yourself or a loved one, multiple losses, or a series of difficult changes, can all erode coping skills. If you are facing these challenges, then therapy may add a valuable layer of support so that you can re-assess and strengthen coping. Therapy can also provide a supportive, caring, outside perspective that may help you uncover harmful patterns and improve upon existing strengths. We fully believe that seeking support when you need it is a good indicator of overall strength in coping.
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and focused on our patient’s specific goals, and so it looks a bit different from person to person. In an initial session, we will ask questions about your social, medical, and family history, so that we are able to establish a solid foundation from which to assess how therapy can be most useful to you. In subsequent sessions, which last for 50 minutes, we will work together to develop a set of goals for your time in therapy. We generally try to meet with new patients once a week for 4-6 sessions, so that we can build a solid therapeutic relationship. After that time, we will assess whether to change the frequency of your sessions based on your needs.
We are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for each of our patients. While you are in our office, we work to help you feel heard, valued, and cared for. We want you to feel physically and emotionally comfortable. We value your time, and work very hard to begin and end each appointment on time.
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
Research has consistently shown that, while medication can be useful in treating depression, anxiety and other conditions, the best outcomes are obtained when medication is combined with therapy. Therapy focuses on understanding the causes of your emotional experience and on developing long-term coping strategies for managing emotions in a healthy way. Medication is useful to relieve the symptoms of emotional distress, but does not resolve underlying issues. We are happy to work with your psychiatrist or other physician in coordinating your mental health care.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychologist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- If you choose to use insurance, we will need to submit identifying information and diagnostic information to your insurance company. This may become part of your permanent health record. You provide permission to share information with insurance as part of the intake paperwork. Those concerned about that are welcome to pay our clinicians’ fee privately.
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. As mandated reporters, we are required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. We are required to take necessary steps to promote safety, which will include notifying the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. We will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
What do I need to do to make an appointment?
The first step is to give us a call and speak to our compassionate intake staff who will gather necessary information to recommend a therapist that will meet your needs. Our intake staff is available 7 days a week and if you don’t connect with them immediately please leave a message with your name and phone number and they will typically call you back within the hour. If you plan on using your insurance benefits, please have your insurance card available. For your convenience we will verify your plan benefits.