Common Questions About Therapy

Do I really need therapy or coaching?  
I can usually handle my problems.
Its ironic that we get education and training in everything we do in life from brushing our teeth to driving a car. Yet, in the area that matters most, our relationships, we get no training at all. But according to research, it is those with the happiest relationships that are the happiest people. And everything we attain in life will be handed to us through the hands of another. So learning how to express ourselves so that we can be who we truly are in the world is possibly the most important type of adult education we can get for ourselves. 

In addition, 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. In fact, therapy or coaching is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking guidance. Therapy and coaching 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. 

How can coaching or therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy or coaching. You will receive support in problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management at work, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists or coaches can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from your sessions depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available 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 or coaching
Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety especially at work
Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
Improving communications and listening skills in love relationships and work relationships
Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
Unblocking professional success
Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
Creating breakthroughs in committment issues
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Learning invaluable conflict resolution and anger diffusion skills for personal and professional relationships
Why do people go to coaching or therapy? And how do I know if it’s right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to coaching or psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well at work. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, 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 who commit to seeking psychotherapy or coaching are almost always ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives. 

What is therapy or coaching like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy or coaching will be different depending on the individual.  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 or coaching session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy or coaching 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 or coach (usually weekly or bi-monthly).

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy or coaching if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy or coaching is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life at home or at work. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy or coaching sessions, you may receive some suggestions for things you can do outside of therapy or coaching to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. We may also work together to help you find the right words and ‘pre script’ an important conversation you need to have with your loved one or someone at work. People seeking psychotherapy or coaching are generally forward thinking and ready to make positive changes in their lives. They are open to new perspectives and want to take responsibility for their lives.   
What about medication Vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our 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 you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. 

Do you take insurance for psychotherapy, 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 to see if you are able to receive reimbursement 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?
Do I have a deductible? 
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 usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. 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 past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, 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 him/herself or has threated to harm another person.