How do I find the right therapist?
Your relationship with your therapist is a very personal and intimate one. Fit is key. That being said, you want to make sure that your therapist has the best and most advanced clinical training. In my opinion, the education we receive as psychoanalysts is far superior to what most therapists receive at the Master's level. In fact, to even qualify for most psychoanalytic institutes you must have previously received a Master's degree from an accredited college and be a licensed therapist. Psychoanalytic training goes far beyond this and is quite rigorous, lasting approximately 5-7 years. Make sure you take this into consideration when making your decision.
Why do people seek therapy?
People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 45 minutes, but some people request longer or more frequent sessions. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. For therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy, but in general, it helps you feel better. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset by helping you manage family relationships, social and professional concerns, and the many stresses of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
- Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
As a rule, to protect your confidentiality, I don't bill insurance. However, at each session, I supply you with a super-bill which contains all the necessary information for you to bill your insurance for re-imbursement after you have paid me directly. Before we get started, it could be quite helpful for you to check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much do you pay for an out-of-net provider?
- Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
- Is primary care physician approval required?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.