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 therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the
individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal
history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy
session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or
longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either
way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the
process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your
life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you
can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific
topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to
make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
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
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
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?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy
requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but
the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure
agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is
called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an
update to someone on your healthcare team (you’re your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your
therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the
* 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.