1. Why meet with a Therapist?
Meeting with a psychologist can be a very rewarding and stabilizing experience, good for times when you have specific problems, interpersonal difficulties, or moments of hopelessness and despair. You can meet with me, for a few months or embark on long-term personal change and growth–each depends your expectations and personal goals. Generally, psychologists have the most extensive training and supervision of all mental health practitioners and I am well qualified to assist you in solving a broad range of problems.
2. Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist. No information will be disclosed without prior written permission from you. However, there are some exceptions such as disclosures required by insurance companies and civil law. These include suspected child abuse or when the client intendes to harm themselves or someone else.
3. What is therapy?
Therapy is a collaborative process that aims to identify beliefs, emotional vulnerabilities, and behaviors that are contributing to your life challenges. As a result, every therapy session is unique and is tailored to your specific challenges and needs. Therapy can be uncomfortable, as I will discuss with you your primary issues and concerns. It also requires work. There may be times when you are asked to read, keep records, track certain behaviors or emotions, or work on other relevant assignments. It is also 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. Finally, therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth.
4. What can I expect during my first visit?
The first session of therapy is similar to a visit with your family doctor. I will seek to understand your challenges, evaluate your needs and we will discuss your treatment options. You should also evaluate whether you feel comfortable working openly and honestly with me as your therapist.
5. Should I be taking medications?
Medications can be beneficial for many severe psychiatric disorders and in some cases are very important (e.g. Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia). As part of our work together we will discuss a variety of treatment options, and if necessary I will work with your medical doctor to determine what is best for you. Nevertheless, consistent psychological research has shown that counseling is equally effective for many common challenges and is vital for long-term improvement. 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.