A therapist whose only interest is to assist you with improving your emotional wellbeing, gives you the safety to let down your guard, and fully explore and heal the pain that is interfering with your emotional health and relationships. A relationship with your therapist is different from a friendship. I describe the therapeutic relationship as “professionally personal.” It is unlike any other relationship. And the focus of that relationship is the client’s intentional healing: Working on improving your relationship with yourself and with others.
No you don’t. At the beginning of therapy, it can be very difficult to share personal experiences with a stranger. There’s a reason why we don’t talk about painful emotions and experiences with just anybody. You may have experienced sharing something personal with someone and then regretted having shared that information.
It’s imperative that you trust your therapist not to shame, condemn, look down on, or judge you. So there is usually a period of time where you are getting to know your therapist as safe and trustworthy. Rightly, so, you do not have to share anything that you do not feel comfortable and safe sharing. Hopefully, a warm and caring therapeutic relationship will develop where you feel accepted and safe to work on anything that is burdening you. Having said that, honesty with your therapist is an important aspect of therapy that is encouraged for effective treatment.
Your confidentiality is of utmost importance. How can you feel safe if you think what is being discussed in therapy is not confidential? There are a few legal issues that, if they arise, a therapist must break confidentiality for. I discuss that with each client in our first therapy session. Otherwise, you can be assured that what we talk about in therapy is kept confidential. If you would like me to communicate with other health care professionals that you are seeing, you can sign a release of confidential information that will allow me to speak with another professional on a limited basis.
I usually suggest beginning therapy on a weekly basis so that we can start off forming a trusting relationship, getting to the heart of what you want to work on, and making some progress in a positive direction. This all takes some time and weekly sessions help get the ball rolling, so to speak. Moving to bi-weekly sessions, or sessions with longer intervals of time in between each session often occurs later in therapy. The timing varies depending on each person’s situation. We will discuss what seems best for you.
That question is different for each person, couple, or family. You know yourself better than I do. You will know how much, how deep, how long you want to go. As I work with people, I will have a clinical judgment of whether there is more or less work to be done in therapy, but I will always allow my clients to make their own judgments and decisions about whether they want brief therapy or longer term therapy, and when they feel therapy is completed. Often times, people will go to therapy for a period of time, take a break, and return if and when they feel the need.
I hope so! I believe a therapist can only help their clients heal as much as they have healed themselves. I cannot expect my clients to go to places in therapy where I have not gone; to try therapeutic experiences that I have not tried (as a client myself); to heal emotionally if I am not working on my own emotional healing. Therapy can be highly beneficial for therapists just as it can be for our clients.
I am considered an out-of-network mental health provider and I am not on insurance panels. What that means is you will pay for therapy at the time of service. If you have a PPO insurance plan, I can provide you with a receipt (called a super bill) that you may submit to your insurance provider. Many PPO insurances will reimburse partial costs of therapy. Before you do this, however, I suggest you contact your insurance company and ask these important questions:
- What are my mental health insurance benefits?
- What is my deductible and has that deductible been met?
- What is the amount covered per therapy session?
- Is there a limited number of therapy sessions per year that insurance covers?