Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is going to see a therapist different than talking with my friends or family members?
A: Talking to your natural support system is a great thing to do; letting a trusted friend or family member in on what you're going through is free, and it can sometimes feel therapeutic. Meeting with a therapist, however, is more than just going to someone who will listen to you vent or give you advice. Therapists are trained to recognize unhelpful patterns, thoughts, or behaviors that may be contributing to your problems. Next they teach you skills to manage them or to challenge you, if needed, to try new ways of finding solutions. A good therapist is also able to look at your situation from a non-judgmental and unbiased perspective because they have no emotional stake in it.
Q: Does therapy always work?
A: As with any mental health service, therapy is not guaranteed to have specific results. The outcome of service will depend upon a collaborative effort between you and your therapist. Your consistency and level of participation in services will greatly contribute to a successful outcome.
Q: What are the benefits of therapy?
A: Benefits of therapy include better relationships and feelings of emotional well-being. You may also learn new skills and strategies that you can generalize toward other situations or problems that arise in the future.
Q: Are there any risks?
A: Some of the risks of receiving therapy may include uncomfortable levels of feelings--such as sadness, anger, and helplessness. Therapy requires people to recall experiences, some of which may be unpleasant. Therapy also involves making changes that can initially feel threatening to you and those close to you.
Q: How long will therapy last?
A: The duration of therapy depends on your specific situation, the severity of any problems, your level of participation, and the progress made. You always have the right to discontinue therapy services at any time. Also, if you or your therapist ever feel like you aren't benefiting from treatment, you may have a discussion of your treatment alternatives, which could include a referral to another therapist or a discontinuation of therapy altogether.
Q: Will other people find out about the things I tell my therapist?
A: All information shared between your therapist will be held in confidence unless you have given permission otherwise. There are a few important legal exceptions to this rule:
If you tell your therapist that you plan to seriously hurt or kill someone, and the therapist believes that you may carry out this threat, they may be required to inform the person you intend to hurt and/or the police.
If you tell your therapist that you are doing things that put you at risk of getting seriously hurt or killed, the therapist may need to take measures to protect your safety, including getting emergency medical services involved.
If you provide your therapist with information that leads the therapist to have reasonable suspicion that a minor, elderly person, or dependent person is being abused, or has been abused in the past, the therapist may be required to report this to a protective service agency.
Q: If my child or teenager is receiving individual therapy from you, will you let me know if they talk about doing things that I don't approve of?
A: Except for the situations mentioned above, I cannot tell you specific things your child shares with me in our private therapy sessions. The information revealed to you about your child in therapy may be limited to that which is necessary to assist you in being helpful to them in the context of your relationship with them and to preserve their safety and the safety of others.
Q: Can you prescribe medications?
A: As a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist I am not able to recommend or prescribe medications. However, if during the course of our work together I think medication may be helpful in managing your symptoms, I may refer you to a psychiatrist or medical doctor in order to be evaluated for prescription medications.
Q: Do you take my insurance?
A: At this time I do not accept any forms of insurance. Payments for services are due in cash or by check at the start of each session. Contact your insurance company to find out if they reimburse for out-of-pocket mental health services.