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 long-standing issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times, it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as divorce, work transition, or family issues (like dealing with aging parents or adult sibling conflict). Many seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. 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.
How do I choose a therapist?
One of the most important factors in the success of therapy is the relationship that forms between the client and the therapist, so it is important that you find someone with whom you feel comfortable and understood. Other qualities you might look for are someone who is compassionate, someone with whom you feel you can open up and be honest with, someone who both accepts you for who you are and believes in the possibility of your continued growth. If you are looking for specific approaches or credentials, that will guide your decision as well. Many people start the process by calling one or more therapists and getting a sense of how it is to talk with them on the phone. That can help you determine if you would like to take the next step by meeting in person to see if it feels like a potentially good match. Sometimes it takes a few sessions to get comfortable with a new therapist, but it shouldn't take much longer than that to have a sense if it's a good fit.
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 could benefit from a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. Therapy can provide long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to manage life's stresses.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, 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. Some of the potential 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
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts fifty 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. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, heighten their self-awareness and strive to make the necessary adjustments to meet their goals. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
What do you charge? Do you accept insurance?
My fee for a fifty-minute session is $150. This session length often works well for individuals, though some prefer the spaciousness of a seventy-five minute session. I generally recommend sessions of seventy-five or ninety minutes for work with pairs. Longer sessions and phone sessions exceeding ten minutes are charged at the same hourly rate ($150) on a pro-rated basis. I am not on any insurance panels, but am happy to provide receipts if you would like to submit them yourself for reimbursement. Session fees are paid directly by clients, at the time of each session; this may be done by cash, check, or credit card. Reduced fees may be available on a limited basis.