Is therapy right for us?
There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as divorce, behavior problems, or significant loss. Many seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth or when they want to improve a child's life. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life's challenges. Therapy can help address many issues, including attachment, depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards positive change.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
Every therapy session is unique and focused on resolving your primary concerns. During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life and your family. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 50 minutes. During the beginning of a therapy relationship I meet weekly with clients and later, as things become more stable, we schedule fewer sessions each month. 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, experimenting with a different way to view your situation, or keeping some personal notes that help us track your progress. Between sessions it is important to process and practice what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life's challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
- Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
- Seeing your personal patterns from a different point of view
- Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
- Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
- Reduce behavior problems for children
- Improving listening and communication skills
- Enhancing the overall quality of life
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:
- 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 does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- 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 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.
Peggy Thomsen, MSW, LICSW • Eagan, MN • 651-333-0160