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The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker
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Commonly Asked Questions

How can therapy help me?

The therapeutic relationship and space gives you the potential to understand yourself better, set goals for yourself, and work towards these goals.  The process varies from person to person but usually begins with talking about the problems that you are facing and formulating goals based on these issues.  The therapist then works with you to identify barriers to reaching these goals and make plans to overcome them.  Therapy is really an investment of time, money and energy into yourself and your own well being.  
How can therapy my younger child? 

Children benefit immensely from a safe, protected space in which to express their inner most feelings.  These feelings may include many negative feelings that are difficult to talk about.  The type of therapy that I provide focuses on giving children and space and a means of self-expression in order to reach their goals.   I utilize play therapy, art therapy and talk therapy with children.  Play and art are wonderful ways for the very young child to process feelings, build self-esteem, work to resolve traumatic experiences, and examine their relationships with others and the world.   Through a combination of using these methods of expressing ones self and learning and practicing practical and pro-social coping skills, younger children can overcome significant life difficulties or behavioral problems with the use of a therapeutic relationship and space.     

How can therapy my teenager? 

Adolescence is one of the most challenging developmental stages that people need to navigate.  School pressure, peer pressure, exposure to substances, and bullying are pervasive forces facing the adolescent of today on a daily basis.  This critical stage of life is ripe with moral development and self-explorations.  Decisions made in adolescence often set the stage for the adult future of these youth.  I work with adolescents to establish and maintain a level of trust and safety that allows them to explore in depth difficult feelings such as fears, feelings of sadness, and feelings of anger.  A common way that teenagers react to difficult stressors and feelings is through rebellion.  I believe that this is a way youth are trying to communicate with adults and I aim to help them to identify how they can re-channel these feelings in order to utilize new, productive coping skills.  

How can family therapy help us?

Many families benefit from family therapy or parenting support because it is often that we become "stuck" in patterns that are not healthy or productive for us or our children.  Raising children and be extremely stressfull and the dynamics that are created in a family unit can be subtle and difficult to recognize in our own lives.  A therapist can offer an outside perspective, can help families examine and change specific behaviors as well as can provide a safe space and relationship in which families can grow and change. 

How does couples therapy help?

When working with couples my primary goal is to treat the relationship.  I help couples set goals, compromise, and discuss their hopes and dreams.  I work with couples at any stage in the relationship.  If you are having problems communicating or are trying to recover from infedelity I can help you to come together as a couple to overcome these barriers to a sucessful relationship.  If your relationship is going well but you want to discuss things and make syre you are on the same page prior to entering a long term relationship or marriage then I can help you engage around important issues that might not come up naturally.

Why do people take their children to therapy and how do I know if it is right for my child?

People have many different motivations for bring their child to see a therapist.  Some parents want their children to get professional help during a difficult time such as parents divorcing or the death of a family member.  Others want professional help for their children who are facing separation anxiety, excessive worrying, school problems, self-esteem problems, or academic acheivement difficulties.  Other times a teenager is struggling with rebellious or withdrawn behaviors during a difficult life transition.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get your child through these periods and increase his or her ability to cope in the future.

What is therapy like for kids?
Because each individual child presents with very different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the parent and child.  In general, you can expect that I will ask you and your child to discuss the current events happening in your child's life, your child's and your personal history relevant to the concern, and progress that has been made or barriers that you and your child face.  Depending on your or your child's specific needs, therapy 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 (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you and your child will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help your child bring what he or she learns in session back into their lives, and this may include collaborative work with the parent(s).  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your child's process - such as reading a pertinent book or establishing an incentive and reward system.  Families seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and 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, and how does that work?
I am not a part of any insurance network and I do not bill insurance companies directly.  It is possible that your insurance reimburses for out-of network psychotherapy.  To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, or if they reimburse for out of network, the first thing you should do is call them.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them:
  • What are my mental health benefits? (sometimes called "behavioral 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? 
  • Will you reimburse for out-of-network therapy?
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.   Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and 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.

Confidentiality is very important for you to discuss with your therapist or your child's therapist.  If a therapist is seeing your child there are times that a therapist can be more effective if some degree of confidentiality is respected between the child and therapist.
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.

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