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Common Questions in Therapy / Counseling & Coaching

Is therapy / counseling or coaching right for me?

Seeking out therapy / counseling or coaching is an individual choice. People seek therapy / counseling and coachig for many reasons. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times, it is a response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the guidance, feedback and support of a therapist as they pursue personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist / counselor or coach 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, trauma, grief, stress management, 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 toward positive change in their lives.

Do I really need therapy / counseling or coaching?  I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone faces challenges in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through some difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you feel you need it. In fact, therapy / counseling and coaching is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand and enough courage to ask for help. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking help. Therapy / counseling and coaching provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, redirect damaging patterns and overcome whatever challenges you face.

How can therapy / counseling or coaching help me?

Therapy / counseling and coaching provides a number of benefits including support, additional problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, anger, and stress management. Many people also find that therapists / counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists / counselors 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. Additional 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

What is therapy / counseling like?

Every therapy session depends on each individual's needs and specific goals. You and your therapist will discuss the primary issues and concerns of your life during therapy sessions. 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. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work toward positive self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy helps people. Working with your medical doctor can help you determine what's best for you. Research shows that long-term solutions to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause are not typically solved by medication alone. Instead of treating symptoms only, therapy addresses the cause of distress and the behavior patterns that disrupt progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach or a combination of factors and paths to wellness.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • 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?

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist / counselor or coach. 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.
  • 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, additional measures may need to be taken.
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