Why do I need therapy? I have friends!
As therapists, we are trained and educated to support you in achieving your goals and improving your life. We will attempt to help you see things in a different light, will challenge your thought processes and encourage you to create change for yourself. We can also provide you with tools and techniques to better manage the struggles you face. While supporting you, we use evidence-based modalities that have been studied, researched and validated. Your therapist will support you in creating change; but we cannot make these changes for you, and we will not force you to make these changes. Our therapists maintain and uphold strong boundaries in the therapeutic relationship, which means that your therapist is not and cannot be your friend. In a friendship, each person shares an equal amount of information about themselves to the other person. In therapy, sharing is not reciprocal; we will not reveal ourselves to our clients to the same degree in which they reveal themselves to us. The specific purpose of the therapeutic relationship will be to help you in reaching your goals, and becoming more fulfilled in your life. Our therapists will uphold professionalism and therapeutic limits in this setting and expect you to respect those boundaries. Also, a therapist is required and bound to keep your private information private, which friends don’t always do!
Are the things I say kept private?
As therapists, we are legally and ethically required to keep the things that are discussed in session private. As with most rules, there are exceptions to this rule. The limitations of confidentiality are as follows:
- If requested or necessary, information will be released to a third party with detailed, written consent.
- If a therapist suspects or is told about abuse, neglect or maltreatment of a child, elder or dependent adult, the therapist is required to report this information to the Department of Social Services (DSS).
- If a therapist is informed about someone who intends to harm themselves or someone else, the therapist is unable to keep that to themselves and have a duty and responsibility to keep people (including you) safe.
- If informed about a person older than 18 years of age engaging in sexual activity with a minor, your therapist is required to report this.
- If given a valid court order/subpoena requiring me to share information with a court, we are legally bound to do so.
- Basic identifying information may be released to gain emergency assistance if you are involved in a medical emergency and become incapacitated.
In order to protect confidentiality, if your therapist sees you in public, they will not approach you unless you approach them first. Even then, your therapist will not acknowledge that you are a client, nor will they discuss any therapy-based information with you. This policy is in effect in an effort to protect your privacy and rights.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.