Frequently Asked Questions

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is one of the healing arts: a time-honored and powerful approach to healing the heart and soul. More simply, psychotherapy is the practice of talking things through with a skilled and trusted professional. Therapy provides a context for solving problems and healing emotional pain, and can be helpful in addressing some of the difficulties people face in their work and personal lives.

What is the difference between psychotherapy and talking to a friend?

Psychotherapy provides a safe place to look at those parts of your life that aren’t working well and are causing you or your family pain. The therapeutic relationship is unusual because both you and your therapist give full attention to you and your situation. This allows you to focus on yourself and to speak freely in a way that may not be available in your personal or social life. While it may be difficult for friends or family to listen without judgments or expectations, or without offering advice, a therapist is trained to help you come to your own solutions. Whatever you share in therapy is protected by professional standards of confidentiality which have only a few exceptions defined by law.

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with problems such as anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a loss, divorce or life transition. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

What can I expect in a therapy session?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 50 minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Between sessions, it is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives on life’s challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Learning appropriate boundaries and how to set them
  • Mourn the loss of a loved one or a significant relationship
  • Establish closer and more fulfilling relationships
  • Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
  • Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
  • Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
  • Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
  • Improving ways to manage anger, depression, and moods
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
  • Enhancing the overall quality of life

How can you help my teenager?

Adolescence and young adulthood are very challenging times in life. The stress on today’s youth can feel overwhelming for both the teen and their parents. Navigating through these challenges is confusing and at times very trying. Sometimes the situation is simply an adjustment to new life stressors. Other times that adjustment period creates significant anxiety and depression. Getting some help from someone outside the family/friend circle can provide some much-needed insight and direction.

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule.

Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse.
    The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s.
    The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.

What to tell your teenager about coming to therapy

When you talk to your teenager about coming to see me you should keep it simple. Explain to her why she is going to a therapist – be specific and give concrete behaviors. Let your child know that you are worried about them and that that is why you are going to take her to a therapist. Do NOT tell your teen he or she “has” to go see a therapist because they are being “bad”. Therapy should be presented to the teen as something positive and that will help your teenager feel better, not as a punishment. Let your teenager know that you understand they may be stressed and that you want to help them feel better. Share that everyone in the family can benefit from what is gained at therapy by learning new tools for communication and developing stronger listening skills to hear one another and what each person find important. Going to therapy is part of helping the entire family feel better and get along in more positive and effective ways.

How do I know if therapy would be helpful for me?

If you’ve considered seeking professional help, then most likely the time is right! There’s no better way to know if counseling can be helpful than to consult with a therapist about your needs. One of the biggest misconceptions about therapy is that seeing a therapist is a sign of weakness. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Recognizing the need for help and seeking professional therapy is a sign of both strength and your determination to live a productive and meaningful life!

Do you work with step/blended families and extended family members?

Yes, today’s ‘families’ consist of various arrangements. For many blended families, there is a challenging period of adjustment to new roles and relationships. Family therapy can help each blended family member become clear of his or her role and how to communicate effectively within the new family.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you do not show up for your scheduled appointment, and you have not notified me at least 48 business hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session.

How long will I need to be in therapy?

Together we will work efficiently and effectively to help resolve your challenges. Different struggles often arise as we carefully look at the struggles you are facing. Some issues can be resolved in a few sessions and others take longer. Everyone’s needs and personal situations are different, and the length of therapy depends on the complexity of the challenges for which you are seeking help.

Do you offer Pre-Marital Counseling

Yes. Counseling can help teach relationship skills that will serve you year after year. Learn how to create a conscious marriage and make it a healing journey together. Learn effective communication tools for a happy, successful, and long-term marriage.

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