Commonly Asked Questions about Therapy
“How do I know that I ‘need’ therapy?”
My number one asked question right here!
People come to see me when they have “tried everything else,” “because [insert person’s significant other’s name here] made me come here,” or “don’t know what else to do.” Often it’s when things are already bad or are about to get worse.
But that’s not the only time to seek help. So again, I emphasize how important it is to develop habits of taking care of your emotional and mental health before the crisis happens. Preparation and knowledge are often half the battle; prevention is better than band-aids.
“How long will it take for me to feel better?”
“How many sessions will I need?”
Everyone’s and every situation are unique. Some people may feel better within a couple of sessions, while others require a longer length of time.
Like how the issue developed over time, it’s expected that the healing will also take time.
Periodically throughout treatment, I always check in with my clients to make sure that 1) we’re fulfilling our treatment agreement or goals of treatment and 2) the client is feeling like there’s progress happening.
“Will you just tell me what to do?”
“What’s difference between talking with a friend?”
Despite common misconceptions, therapy isn’t about giving advice. I’m not some mystical guru that has a Zen life and offers words of wisdom. Treatment involves clients actively working and putting in the effort. I rarely provide any advice during therapy.
Let’s face it, does anyone really like being told what to do? Heck no!
I believe that the most significant change happens when you have a supportive person alongside you, helping you with problem-solving, encouraging you, and genuinely caring about your well-being.
And what’s the difference between a friend and a therapist. Even though your friends have good intentions, they will ultimately side with you. Don’t get me wrong, as your therapist, I will be friendly, but I will challenge you when you need it; I’ll point out if you were in the wrong. But I will do so if there’s a benefit to you.
“Does everything we talk about remain confidential?”
Yes and no. I’ll explain below.
Most therapy is confidential, meaning that both legal and ethical standards bind me to keep our sessions private as your therapist.
However, there are exceptions to this, especially if it concerns your welfare, safety of others, or if there’s any suspected abuse to children or dependent adults and elders. In these situations, I would have to contact or report to someone else without your explicit permission; in most cases, I will inform you of this.
I’m required to write notes about our sessions. If you are involved in a legal case or dealing with medical insurance billing, they may either legally subpoena my notes or ask me a testify. Although I will only provide the information necessary about the situation, information may still be lawfully disclosed in those situations.
“I don’t feel comfortable being on video, can we just have a telephone session?”
Of course! I offer therapy entirely over the telephone as well. Certain situations or times use of video would be highly suggested, but I give that control over to you.