Is therapy really necessary? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
What is the difference between MFTs and other mental health professionals
MFTs (Marriage and Family Therapists)
Either a master’s or doctoral degree that prepares them to provide individual, couples, family, and group therapy. To graduate from an AAMFT accredited graduate program, students are required to complete a rigorous clinical practicum consisting of providing actual face-to-face therapy (500 hours for a master's degree, 1000 hours for a doctoral degree). MFT is the only mental health profession that specifically prepares therapist to work not only with individual problems, but also with relationship problems (e.g., couples, families of any configuration).
Medical doctors who mainly prescribe and monitor medication. While some provide psychotherapy, most limit their practice to “medication monitoring.”
Doctoral level professionals trained to diagnose and give psychological tests. They treat learning, behavioral, and emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, and conduct disorders, and adjustment problems related to medical illnesses. Psychologists primarily are trained to work with individuals rather than couples or families.
Typically have a master’s that prepares them to perform clinical assessments, manage large caseloads, take on supervisory roles, and develop ways to utilize social services to meet the needs of clients. Many Clinical Social Workers also provide therapy.
Typically have a master’s degree and focus within a specialized area such as vocational counseling, pastoral counseling, school counseling, rehabilitation counseling, mental health counseling or family counseling. Hence, a school counselor may lack the training and experience to address mental health issues, while a mental health counselor would probably be less equipped to provide vocational or family counseling.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, couple issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each client and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking therapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
Medication works best in conjunction with therapy. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental, emotional and relationship problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Rather than 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.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
I accept Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, United and State (Husky A or B and Charter Oak). Every plan differs and therefore it will be necessary to check the specific provisions of your policy to determine how much of your sessions may be covered by your insurance. Please read more about the Insurnace Issues to Consider
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.