PSYCHOTHERAPY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY CALL A THERAPIST?
When you have symptoms of depression, anxiety, or relationship stress professional therapists are trained to facilitate understanding and relief.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FIRST SESSION?
In a confidential setting the therapist listens, asks questions, and considers resources and interventions that might be helpful to the client. The therapist shares observations and suggests possible solutions or a treatment plan. When a different resource — such as medical — or another therapy approach is going to meet the clients needs better, the therapist will offer referrals. When the client and the therapist agree psychotherapy is indicated, treatment begins.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Sometimes all that is needed is a new perspective or information. When this is the case the work is brief. At other times the client wants to change long-standing patterns and master difficult issues through the therapy relationship. This work is subtle and may take longer. Outmoded defenses need to be seen through and replaced by healthier choices. Old habits can be hard to change, but sometimes, significant breakthroughs happen quicker than we expect!
WHAT TOOLS DO THERAPISTS BRING TO HELP THEIR CLIENTS CHANGE?
It depends on what the client needs and what the therapist’s area of expertise is. There is often more than one effective way to solve problems and the eclectic therapist uses a variety of treatment modalities. Ask a prospective provider about their expertise and specifically how they might meet your desire for life change and personal growth.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE WITH THE BEST THERAPIST FOR YOU?
Start by finding out the therapist’s areas of expertise, experience, and education. This is important and easy. Just ask and they should be willing to answer. However, therapy helps in the context of relationships and it is important that you feel you are with someone competent and trustworthy for you. This part of the decision is usually intuitive and highly personal. Most therapists are willing to take a few minutes to talk on the phone and answer your initial questions. You can often get a sense of the personality fit, as well as information about the therapist’s expertise from this conversation.
IS IT NECESSARY TO TALK ABOUT THE PAST?
Most therapists start with the present. Sometimes all that is needed is a new perspective or discovery of a previously unseen resource. This is nice when it happens, but people have usually mined their current understanding and resources long before they call a therapist. If so, therapy may help you examine the past and provide the insight you need for present change and future improvement.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
We charge $155 for a 55-minute session and expect payment at the time of service unless other arrangements are made in advance.
WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR MY SESSIONS?
Some insurance will pay for all or part of therapy. Many companies want to select a therapist they have a contract with for you to work with. We are on very few insurance companies’ preferred provider lists for ethical and business reasons. Regardless, we will give you a receipt with a diagnosis, and all information your insurance company should require for in or out-of-network reimbursement. When we do agree to be a direct provider for your insurance company sessions are 45 to 50 minutes long. This allows us time for increased paperwork and costs.
DO YOU OFFER COMPLIMENTARY SESSIONS?
We are happy to take time in the initial phone interview to answer any questions we can at that time. We charge for all office visits.