Are you uncertain how to choose a good couples therapist? This short video may help
Is therapy right for me?
Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and 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.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
It's a good thing to seek out extra support when you need it. It takes courage, but the benefits can be huge. You can learn to need to avoid triggers, change damaging patterns, and overcome your most difficult challenges. You can learn new problem-solving skills, come to terms with grief, heal family issues and much more.
Studies have shown that what makes the biggest difference in the outcome of therapy is the quality of the professional relationship between therapist and client.
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 also depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- More self-confidence
- New relationship skills
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression
- Better communication and listening skills
- Solving problems in your family or marriage
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique. A good therapist will want to know what is on your mind, and what you want most out of any session. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around 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.
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can help determine what's best for you, but most mental and emotional problems are not best treated by medication alone. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the causes of distress and the behavior patterns that get in the way of progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
In recent years, most of my patients have elected to pay for their therapy themselves. I will be reevaluating this issue this year. If you have insurance that covers a substantial part of therapy costs, please let me know. As a licensed psychologist, I qualify for most insurance panels, and would be happy to explore this possibility for you. In most cases, insurance will currently not reimburse you for online sessions or for the cost of videos or webinars. In person therapy and some of these other services and products may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax professional on this.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the police and the other person.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, the therapist must do whatever is necessary to keep the client safe.