Common Questions

How can therapy help me?

Therapy aids a person in thinking differently, about self, others, the world, and the future.  When a person is governed by their "emotional mind", they have difficulty making choices that move them forward in life.  In contrast, when the "wise mind" is in charge--mood, self-worth, goals, and relationships improve.  Therapy also provides emotional release and problem-solving in a friendly environment.  So, as your "wise mind" takes center stage in life, you may gain a better understanding of yourself, your values, how to make difficult decisions, your purpose, and your unconditional worth.  

What is therapy like?
Therapy is a once-a-week appointment.  The first apponitment involves a clinical interview to figure out treatment goals.   Therapy goals vary, depending on what an individuals needs are.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session, and work on the treatment goals decided upon (e.g. cognitive reframing exercises, biofeedback, etc.)  
You will be asked to complete brief assignments, between sessions.  It makes sense that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, you may be asked to work on assignments between sessions such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.    
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?  
There is no doubt that certain psychotropic medications are helpful for particular mood disorders.  However, therapy aims to go beyond treating symptoms to addressing the causes of distress.  That is at the core of cognitiove therapy--understanding how your thoughts (and resulting actions), have affected your mood.  In many research studies, cognitive behavioral therapy has been found just as successful (sometimes more) than medication in treating mild and moderate levels of depression.  However, when mood states are difficult, I find patients benefit greatly when they are taking medications and attending therapy

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. What is mentioned in thearpy is not discussed anywhere else, except in special conditions (e.g. dangerousness to self or others).  Every therapist 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 therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.  State laws and professional ethics require therapists 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 client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.

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