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Common Questions

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, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage 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. 
 
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:  
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my own 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. 
 
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.   In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives. 
 
Benefits of Telehealth
Thanks to today's technologies we are able to offer video therapy. This is very advantageous to those of you on the job with swing shifts/sets and tours that change continually. We can accommodate your rotation via telehealth. Most insurances cover this service. We can also accommodate you no matter where you are. So if your in Buffalo or Long Island (or anywhere in between) we can see you via telehealth technology. We offer all the same services as if you were here with us in the office. We even offer specialized groups with a program that allows you to share your experiences with others in your field; whether Military/LEO/First responders. the video chat room is run by a therapist who also has the same or similar background experiences. 
Telehealth can accommodate anyone, anywhere regardless of situation. No more missed sessions due to weather, or feeling to depressed to get here? We can switch your in office visit to telehealth in seconds. 
 
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
 
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.   
 
How long should I expect to be in therapy?
People have so many different reasons to come to therapy it makes it hard to answer that question with a definitive answer, but this may help...... Average lengths of therapy are between 12 and 52 weeks. WOW 52 weeks??? Sometimes, and here is why. Meeting with your therapist weekly for 45 minutes and using some of the coping mechanisms and thought processes you learn and applying them to your situation takes practice, insight and repetition. If you see your therapist for 12 weeks essentially that equates to 9 hours in the office. Doesn't seem so bad now does it? It has taken a long time to develop the behavioral patterns and thought processes you have. Sometimes years of training in the PD/Corrections/Military to ingrain some of the issues that are affecting your personal life. 9 hours over 12 weeks is reasonable and expected in the beginning so we can fully evaluate what is happening, how easy you feel you can facilitate change and how everyone around you reacts to those changes as well. It is not quick fix but a permanent change that will last throughout your life. By the way 52 weeks of therapy equates to 39 hours. Essentially one full time work week. If you participate and actively engage in making the changes you desire it does not seem that long at all. 
 
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
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 your insurance carrier.  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?
  • 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? 
Does what I talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office.   Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone.  This is called “Informed Consent”.  Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
 
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations;
 
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and/or elders.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself
* If the client has threatened to harm another person.
 
As mandated reporters therapists are required to disclose the above three circumstances to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
 
 

 

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