How can therapy help?
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 therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, couples issues, and the challenges 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 specific 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 romantic relationship
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Identifying new life directions
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. This usually happens when you’re faced with a challenge or dilemma that requires tools that are not among your usual coping mechanisms. Therapy can also be helpful when many problems happen at once, and it’s hard to sort through it all and find a place to start. 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, end of a significant romantic relationship, 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, 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?
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 or bi-weekly) in order to develop consistency. 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. However, any activities outside of therapy will be carefully developed in consultation between you and the therapist.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the experiences behind your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your 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 or psychiatrist, you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Can you prescribe medication?
Only medical doctors can prescribe medication in Kansas, but I can consult with you about the advisability of medication, answer many questions about benefits of medication, and work with your prescribing physician if desired.
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?
- What information must be shared with the insurance company by my therapist in order to cover my sessions?
As for my insurance eligibility, I am in the panels of the following companies:
- BCBS of Kansas
You can also use your credit/debit cards to pay for service as well as cash or checks. I encourage you to contact me if you have questions about payment for services.
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 sometimes not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office.
Every therapist should provide a written copy of his or her 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 (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 following situations:
- Suspected present abuse or neglect of children 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 himself or herself or has threatened to harm another person.
- If a client is involved in a criminal or civil action and records have been subpoenaed.
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