It’s Natural to Have Questions about Therapy
Whether I’m meeting someone socially or talking to a potential client, they often ask me some version of the questions below about therapy. I hope these answers help.
1. How normal is it to need a therapist?
It’s quite normal. Life can be complex and everyone can use help at times.
If you or a loved one is going through a difficult time, it’s often less overwhelming and more productive to seek help rather than figuring it out on your own. It’s also normal for people to end therapy when feeling better and return later if help is needed.
2. How does it work?
Our first session is a “get to know each other” time. We meet and see if we would like to work together. Finding the right therapist for you is kind of like dating. It’s important that you feel like you can trust, open up and connect. At the same time, you are likely looking for a seasoned and skilled therapist. I’m committed to giving you the best psychotherapy I can.
3. How long does it take?
I wish I could answer that easily but it’s different for everyone. Typically, it’s less than year and sometimes less than six months.
In my experience, people use therapy in one of three ways:
a) To help them get through a crisis
b) Personal growth
c) Ongoing support
That said, we’ll come up with a plan at the end of our first session and re-evaluate as needed.
4. How often do I need to come?
I generally recommend weekly sessions. Some clients come twice weekly if additional support is useful. Occasionally, and often as treatment winds down, every other week is appropriate.
5. I’m bringing my teen in. How will I, as the parent, be included?
Obviously, there are confidentiality issues in therapy. It’s important that teens trust me and that what they share with me is kept confidential. At the same time, there will be times during the therapy process where I’ll bring you into session with your teen’s permission. Teens need to feel that the therapeutic relationships is a safe place, while parents often need information and guidance. I strive to balance those needs.
6. What is a Psychologist?
A psychologist is a doctoral level licensed mental health clinician. Compared to other mental health therapists, a psychologist holds the highest level of education and training available. Psychologists adhere to a strict code of ethics, are vigilant about client’s confidentiality and make effort to provide the highest quality of care.
The terms Psychotherapist and Counselor do not indicate that the provider is a licensed professional. A Life Coach helps identify and achieve personal goals. However, at this time Life Coaching is not regulated meaning there are no education, training or licensure requirements. Also, someone may hold a Ph.D. and use the term “Dr.” but not be licensed as a psychologist.
It can be a little confusing. What you need to know is if your therapist is state licensed and experienced in the issues for which you need help.
7. What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
Psychologists are frequently confused with psychiatrists. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (physician) with prescription writing privileges. I do not prescribe medication.
8. What about confidentiality?
Everything that happens in therapy is confidential with a couple of legal exceptions. My practice in Buckingham Green in Buckingham, PA has a private setting and I take great care to take to protect your privacy.
9. What about Payment?
I do not take insurance but many people can be reimbursed if they have an out of network benefit on their insurance policy. I will give you a receipt that can be submitted to your insurance company.
Payment is due at the time of service. Credit Cards and HSAs (health savings accounts) are accepted. Sessions are $185.
Psychotherapy is an investment that can be invaluable to your life.
10. How Long are Sessions?