Commonly Asked Questions
Notwithstanding the importance of education and training, the most vital aspect of establishing a positive relationship with a therapist is his or her level of genuineness, empathy, respect and ability to empower others. The therapeutic relationship is a collaborative process. As your therapist, I strive to establish a positive therapeutic alliance through mutual respect and a non-exploitive approach throughout the treatment process. As your therapist, I will consistently advocate for you and help you use your personal strengths and resources to grow and develop as desired.
First, check credentials (or obtain a referral by someone who can vouch for the therapist’s credentials) to ensure that the therapist has the necessary skills and relevant expertise. Then, meet with the therapist to evaluate whether you are a good match. This is very important! Scientific studies bear out that the therapeutic relationship is the key to success – not particular theories or techniques.
Though laws may vary from state to state, the law generally protects the confidentiality of communications between a patient and a therapist just like a doctor and patient. Two notable exceptions include in instances of suspected abuse, and threatening bodily harm to oneself or another person.
Therapy may vary significantly based on the client, his or her needs, and the therapeutic goals. Topics of discussion will include the factors that led the client to seek therapy and the resolution process. Typically, sessions occur on a weekly basis and last 45-50 minutes. Therapy may focus on one or multiple issues. The therapist often suggests therapeutic homework in the form of suggested readings, journaling, or tracking life events. For positive results, the client must actively participate in the therapeutic process and work on their therapeutic goals between each session.
During the first or assessment/interview session, we will spend some time getting to know one another. At this time I will discuss more of my professional background and give you the opportunity to ask whatever questions you may have. At this time we will review the required paperwork. I will ask numerous questions about your history, life situation, and how I can assist you. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine what to say and what to divulge. At each stage of counseling process, you are expected to only discuss the topics you are comfortable and ready to address.
The average length of therapy may range from a few sessions to several months; however, there is no definitive set time frame. We will discuss your goals and routinely review them to ensure you are progressing in the desired direction and make adjustments as necessary.
At some point, everyone will face some type of challenge in his or life. For various reasons, you may not feel strong enough or know how to address and resolve the issue without a little extra support and guidance. Recognizing the need for additional help demonstrates self-awareness, courage and strength. Taking this step can lead to positive life changes as you gain personal insight and learn valuable coping skills, learn to recognize triggers, and learn how to resolve negative behavior patterns. Therapy can help you improve your interpersonal relationships within your family, marriage, or even the workplace. Furthermore, therapy can help you overcome grief or trauma, and learn to manage or resolve issues related to depression, anxiety, and stress to name a few.