Answers to Common Questions
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Quite often, it is our relationship with a partner/spouse that feels unsatisfying. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a therapist when they feel something is missing, like they are going through life with no passion or purpose. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, marital and family conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your current life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 45-50 minutes. Sometimes individuals who are going through a particularly difficult challenge may request more time per session or more than one session per week. Couples sessions can often be done in “double sessions” since resolving certain problems can be quite an intense process. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors or reflecting on one’s dreams. Between sessions it is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life’s challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
- Increased capacity to reflect and respect our inner feelings, both conscious and unconscious
- Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
- Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior, particularly those that foster unsatisfying relationships
- Increasing confidence and a clearer sense of self/identity
- Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
- Improving listening and communication skills
- Developing our own creativity.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
I do not accept insurance assignment as payment. I expect payment at the time of visit. I will provide a receipt for insurance reimbursement. To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- If my psychological problem is based on medical necessity, does the coverage become more significant?
Do you work with psychiatrists?
Yes. I have a number of psychiatrists in the Great Falls area to whom I refer and are skilled in handling medication management. Psychotherapists, such as myself, do not write prescriptions. However, if the patient and I, in collaboration, feel that medication might be warranted, I will discuss the merits of seeking psychiatric consultation as part of your treatment.