Five Frequently Asked Questions
There are many reasons therapy could be a good and important choice for you.
Consider where you are at this moment in your life. Presumably you’re thinking about therapy because parts of your life are not as satisfying or as rewarding as you’d like. Perhaps you feel alone and alienated. Perhaps you are deeply unhappy.
Two important things for you to recognize about yourself:
You have the courage to reflect on your life and seek change.
You have the courage to reach out and seek guidance.
If you’ve reflected on your life and decided to seek help, you are a good candidate for therapy. Below are answers to some questions you may have regarding seeking therapy or the therapy process.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is an application of various psychological techniques used to address problems of everyday stressors or adjustments. Simply stated, the goal of all psychotherapy is to be a vehicle of change so that one can acquire skills to assist or adjust in everyday living. This process of change comes about through the psychotherapist promoting insight and understanding into one’s problems to the extent that the individual seeking therapy gains awareness regarding his/her behavior. This enables him to modify the problem behavior and/or better adjust to his/her environment. The process of psychotherapy is initiated through a warm inviting and nonjudgmental atmosphere that welcomes the person seeking help to share detailed intimacies void of criticism.
Psychotherapy alone is considered the most effective form of treatment for most minor and moderate problems. With regard to more severe problems, often a combination of psychotherapy and medication is prescribed.
During the process of psychotherapy, the role of psychotherapist is to assist you with life struggles. In some respects a psychotherapist is like a life’s coach to help you cope with life’s problems and difficulties. One might equate it to having a medical problem as in cancer, or diabetes. Once you discover that your body isn’t working properly, one frequently seeks the attention of an internist to help him/her with a medical problem. Likewise, if one is having difficulty with life, you might seek the attention of a psychologist.
Who offers psychotherapy?
The profession of psychotherapists is fairly diverse. Listed below are the most common known professions.
Psychologists are doctors who have specialized education and training in the area of mental health. The distinguishing features for psychologists are that they are trained in providing psychological testing, conducting clinical research, and several years of supervised training in offering psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists are physicians who have specialized in the area of mental health. The distinguishing features for psychiatrists are they are able to provide medication and have received specialized training in prescribing psychotropic medications.
Social Workers are clinicians who also have specialized training in the area of mental health. The distinctions for social workers are that they are usually trained in providing community based programs and casework along with offering psychotherapy.
Marriage and Family Therapists are clinicians who have education in the area of mental health. They are specifically trained to offer family and couples’ counseling.
What is your philosophy or theoretical orientation?
You will find our practice to be a warm and inviting atmosphere. We practice from a holistic approach which means we incorporate a multiethnic perspective as well as a spiritual, psychological, mind, and body perspectives. We are strongly committed to supporting people in recognizing their dreams and living their lives to the fullest. We examine with people the underlying concerns that have hindered them from leading a more successful, happy, fulfilled, and vibrant life. We believe in helping people to have clear informed choices as opposed to operating from a “knee jerk” reaction in order that people can understand why and how to behave differently. Many come into treatment because they have engaged in repeated patterns of behaviors and not understanding why they have not been able to stop despite their knowledge of knowing that they want to do different. In brief, we work with these repetitive patterns to interrupt the cycle so that change can occur.
We are considered to be an active clinicians, engaging the person who is involved in the treatment in a cooperative and empowerment mode. We use a combination of psychodynamic techniques which explores the origin of the problem and cognitive-behavioral methods which examines thoughts and behavior techniques in my work. Our style is also known to be pragmatic - providing education regarding the problem and symptoms, offering insight concerning what has maintained the problem, and assisting the individual to come up with practical solutions.
What are your fees?
We provide fee-for-service. We accept some insurance reimbursements. Our services are covered by most PPO insurance plans. Our fees are competitive. However, we do offer some sliding scale arrangements. In many circumstances the fees are negotiable based on the financial circumstances. Please feel to discuss fees directly with us based on the service you are requesting.
How long does it take?
This is a complicated question since it is variable by each unique person, situation, and current support system. This often depends on what you are seeking help for and the level of stress when you start therapy. Generally, the greater the severity of the stressor, the longer the therapy. It is also largely depends what you want to accomplish from the treatment. Do you want merely symptom relief or how to sustain a satisfying life?
Most sessions are 45 minutes long, but there are some that last one hour and 20 minutes or two hours. Most sessions are weekly. But, there are some that are more than once a week. These types of arrangements will be discussed during your initial visit and can also be renegotiated throughout the course of treatment.