Frequently Asked Questions

What is the value of being in therapy?

People who participate in therapy can be divided into to groups. One group participates in therapy because they are unable to manage some aspect to their life. They maybe depressed, suffering from anxiety, depend on substances, or are unable to adequately cope with a life transition. These people come to therapy because they “have to.”

The other group of individuals come to therapy to deepen their understanding of themselves, their goals and values, or to attain greater satisfaction in their personal and professional relationships. Psychotherapy improves listening and communication skills which develop more effective conflict resolution and problem solving skills. These people come to therapy because they “want” to be there.

How do I choose a good therapist?

It is important to understand that no therapist is the right person for every client. The collaborative aspect of therapy requires each client interview the therapist, questioning his/her clinical orientation, years of experience, and familiarity with issues similar to the clients. This type of interaction provides the client with enough information to make a more informed decision, about trusting the therapist to help and guide them.

It is important for the client to feel understood and taken care of. While it might be possible to know this after the initial session, I would suggest that the client makes a commitment to four sessions with a therapist. In this time frame, the client will have enough experience with the therapist, to adequately evaluate the level of support, safety, and acceptance that everyone needs when addressing unresolved issues.

What happens in therapy?

During the initial session, the therapist will complete an assessment as he/she and the client collaborate to identify the problems and underlying issues that are creating a challenge. Therapeutic goals and a course of treatment are established and agreed upon by both the therapist and client. The therapist will also identify his/her office policies, discuss confidentiality and its exceptions, and communicates his/her fees. The client will be given the opportunity to ask whatever questions he/she has, to make an informed decision about entering into the therapeutic relationship.

The following sessions focus on treatment and the attainment of the therapeutic goals. How long the treatment takes varies by the severity of the client’s issues and the therapist’s orientation. The therapeutic process is propelled by the client’s ability to “think out loud” without censorship, regardless of how silly or unimportant the thought seems at the time. The therapist, now having a better understanding and appreciation of the client’s internal experience, can offer greater clarity and understanding, allowing the client to develop more effective and efficient strategies to enact positive change.

Will my conversations be confidential?

All discussions between a therapist and client are completely confidential and can only be released to a third party with the client’s written permission, except under specific circumstances when the law requires disclosure. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child, dependent adult, or elder abuse.
  • Threatening to cause serious bodily harm to another person.
  • Intension to harm oneself. Every effort will be made to work with the client to ensure their safety. However, if a client is not cooperative, additional measures may need to be taken.