Is psychotherapy right for me?
Seeking out psychotherapy is an individual choice. 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 a change in relationship or a significant transition in one's work life.
Many seek the advice of a psychotherapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist 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, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Psychotherapy can assist anyone who is interested in leading a more meaningful life by actively taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working toward change in their lives.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. I generally schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 50 minutes for individuals, 60 minutes for couples.
Sometimes individuals who are going through a particularly difficult challenge or who are working psychoanalytically may request more than one session per week, or more time per session. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. Between sessions it is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. psychotherapy is a collaborative endeavor; 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
- Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
- 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
- Improving listening and communication skills
- Enhancing the overall quality of life
What is your philosophy of treatment and your approach to psychotherapy?
The type of therapy I provide is often called psychodynamic psychotherapy or comtemporary psychoanalytic psychotherapy. This type of psychotherapy is a treatment for emotional distress or pain. It is a method of achieving understanding or knowledge about oneself in order to promote growth, and is a path to creating and enriching personal relationships.
There are four tasks of therapy that take place with almost everyone with whom I work. First, it is very important to build trust in the the therapeutic relationship so that the patient can feel comfortable enough to discuss difficult or painful circumstances. The task of creating emotional safety and trust occurs throughout treatment but is most intensive in the beginning as the new patient and I are getting to know each other. Just as with all other relationships, trust develops when the patient has consistent experiences of me as someone who can genuinely understand their experience, is confident that change can take place, and is committed to the person's care.
The second task of therapy is to deeply understand the patient's life experiences. My approach to therapy is based on the understanding that people are a product of their early experiences and particular life history, as well as their more recent life experiences. Therefore, it is very important to me to accurately understand the patient's present situation and any aspect of their history that might influence their life today. This in itself can be very healing for many people, especially those individuals who have felt misunderstood by others.
A third task of therapy is to explore the meanings the patient has made of the circumstances of his or her life. Because we are unique, our subjective experience of events can produce different meanings for different people. Understanding how one makes meaning of life events is an essential component of my therapeutic approach.
Fourth, an important task of psychotherapy is to examine and enhance patterns of relating to others. In therapy, one of the best ways to understand patterns of relating is to notice and talk about how the patient and I relate. Other times, it is important to discuss how the patient relates to important people in his or her life. In either case, the goal is to learn more about the emotions and behaviors of relating in order to inform us about how to maximize love and intimacy in some relationships, and create appropriate expectations and boundaries in others.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
I do not currently accept insurance, but I will gladly provide you with a billing statement which you can then submit to your insurance provider.
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 ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.