Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness and acceptance, and working towards positive change in their lives. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand and who have the courage to seek extra support. Therapy can provide long-lasting benefits by giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome challenges you face.
Therapists can provide a fresh perspective, support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, unresolved issues, grief, stress management, and midlife changes. Many people find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and daily life stressors. 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:
- Finding balance in your week away from extreme behaviors
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals, boundaries, and values
- Developing insight and skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new, positive ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communication and listening skills
- Getting "unstuck" - Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Feeling validated and understood
- Navigating changes in family life, divorce, or separation
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual, their specific goals, and what each person needs. Therapy sessions are generally 45 minutes long and occur weekly. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active and committed participant.
Many people may feel nervous about attending the first session. We make every effort to make this step easy and comfortable for you. The first session is really about getting to know each other and determining whether we're a good fit. During the first session, we will briefly go over these forms you filled out ahead of time and any questions you may have. Sometimes the first session can feel like a "Q&A" session as we're trying to gather information to understand you and what brought you to therapy. You are welcome to provide feedback, share only as much information you feel comfortable sharing, and determine whether we are a good fit for your therapy needs. The first meeting for child's therapy is typically only with the parent(s) to discuss concerns, go over paperwork, and determine if we're a good fit.
What should I do if I have joint (shared) custody of children and their other parent won't agree to treatment?
Joint legal custody allows either parent or guardian to consent to treatment for minors. Typically therapists will briefly call the other parent with joint legal custody to inform them of treatment services and obtain their verbal consent to treatment. In situations where divorce has preceded the treatment and either parent does not want treatment for the children, it's best to obtain mediation or court recommendations for therapy so both parents can be on board.
Aetna, Tricare/UHMV, Magellan, Blue Shield of CA, some BlueCross/BlueShield BlueCard programs, and some EAP programs are accepted at this time by some providers. Many insurance plans have Out-of-Network benefits that we can also work with and bill accordingly for you. Many insurance companies may reimburse you for behavioral or mental health treatment. Know that using insurance requires authorization of personal health information related to treatment.
To determine your mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier to find the answers to the following questions:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How much do I pay for an Out-of-Network co-insurance and/or my copay for In-Network?
- Are there any potential risks for using insurance for mental healthcare?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work together with the individual in ensuring their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken without the individual's permission to ensure their safety.
- If a judge orders release of records for legal proceedings. This is an unusual occurrance.
These also apply with minors. Generally, parents of teens are asked to let therapy remain private in order to facilitate trust and communication. Therapists will inform parents when/if concerning information, such as dangerous activity or any of the above has been shared.
Late cancellation or No Show fees only apply if 24 hours advance notice is not given when cancelling or rescheduling an appointment. This is a standard fee of $75 for clients using either insurance or out of pocket rates. Once the appointment is made, the provider's time is no longer available for scheduling and that time is reserved exclusively for the client that made the appointment. This fee is not to penalize anyone financially, but to protect the provider's time. In the event that the appointment time is cancelled and is filled by another client, the fee will be waived.