How can therapy help me?
. Therapy 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
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
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, 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.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
Talking about medication VERSUS psychotherapy to some extent is based on an erroneous understanding of what we call "the mind". People are biological, as well as psychological and social beings, and as such, feelings, thoughts and emotions are a product of not only one's experiences in life, but also of one's brain biology. Since that is the case, we know that there are Biological, Psychological and Social contributing factors (in varying proportions) in each individual. Because of this, optimal treatment involves sorting out to what extent each of these factors is contributing, and addressing all of them. As a psychiatric physician (M.D.), I am in a good position to recognize and treat the various contributing factors.. Sometimes medication is not indicated, but sometimes it is, and if it is, I will not have to refer you to to someone else to manage medication, as I would work with you both with psychotherapy and medication.
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 them. 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 we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a patient and psychiatrist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the psychiatrist's office. Every psychiatrist 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 psychiatrist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your psychiatrist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require psychiatrists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the patient or collateral sources.
* If the psychiatrist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.