Counseling & Therapy FAQs

When should you go to therapy?

The American Psychological Association suggests considering therapy when something causes distress and interferes with some part of life, particularly when:

  • Thinking about or coping with an issue takes up at least an hour each day
  • The issue causes embarrassment or makes you want to avoid others
  • The issue has caused your quality of life to decrease
  • The issue has negatively affected school, work, or relationships
  • You’ve made changes in your lifestyle or developed habits to cope with the issue
  • The issue is causing a change in your sleep habits (oversleeping or insomnia)
  • Close friends and/or family members encourage you to seek counseling

What should I expect at my first therapy session?

You have an appointment with a counselor for your first therapy session and you don’t know what to expect. This is the kind of thing you would normally ask your friends and family about, but this is personal.

  • You might second-guess your decision to go, even as you’re sitting in the waiting room. But hang in there! You wouldn’t have come all this way if you didn’t think there was a problem.
  • You will be asked questions you never thought to ask yourself.
  • You will talk about your personal history and your life.
  • You will discuss in great detail your current symptoms.
  • You should be prepared to describe your situation and the feelings it produces.

Remember that therapy is a team effort. The more open you are with your therapist and the more you disclose, the better the therapist will be able to help you. Therapy is a process, an evolution, not a quick fix (like a medical doctor visit). Working through a problem and making a change takes time. Results can be attained, but only if you do the necessary work.

How often should I go to therapy?

Therapy has been found to be most effective if you go once per week for 3-4 months (12-16 sessions).  But you can go more, if needed.

How do you handle confidentiality?

Very simply put, what you say in therapy stays in therapy, UNLESS:

  • You’re suspected of hurting a child, elder, or dependent adult.
  • Someone is hurting you.
  • You want to hurt yourself.
  • You want to hurt someone else.
  • You give permission to share with another trusted person.

Is psychotherapy more effective than medication?

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?

To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them (the phone numbers should be on the back of your health plan membership card). Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Will I be expected to pay a copay?
  • 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?

To determine if Ryan is contracted as an in-network provider with your carrier, click here to go to the Rates & Insurance page.

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