Frequenly Asked Questions
By now you've already taken some very important steps in choosing the right therapist. It is important and often difficult to make the right choice without having the information you need to make a sound decision. Many of the typical questions you'll want answers to when searching for a professional therapist are listed below. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions you may have, I will be happy to answer them for you. By asking the right questions you can gain the confidence and comfort you need to make the right decision.
How do I choose a qualified therapist?
Look for at least a Master's degree. A therapist should be licensed in the state in which they practice. If in doubt, ask about the therapist's credentials. Also, if a therapist is telling you about their life, then it is time to find a new therapist. All you should know about your therapist is their credentials, expertise, work history, how to contact them, and the methods they use for treatment. You are not in therapy to hear about anyone else's life other than your own. Good boundaries are essential in receiving professional treatment. You are paying a professional to explore your life, not anyone else's.
Is it acceptable to tell a therapist that I'm shopping for a therapist?
Definitely! You should interview several therapists to see if they will be a good fit. Most therapists will expect payment for the initial interview, but should be willing to speak by phone to answer any questions you may have. The most important factor in effective treatment is a good relationship between you and your therapist.
What questions should I ask a potential therapist?
You should ask about the therapist's training, their credentials and what they mean (ie: LMSW means Licensed Masters of Social Work), what type of therapy is utilized and what you can expect from therapy. It is important to ask if they can work with a particular problem that you want addressed in therapy such as: couples therapy, coping with depression, anxiety or panic attacks, etc. I welcome such calls in my practice.
What should I ask myself?
What do I hope to gain from therapy? Am I comfortable with this therapist? Do I feel that the therapist has a good grasp of the issues that have motivated me to seek therapy at this time? Am I willing to do the work necessary to participate in therapy? It is important to understand that therapy is not a passive experience, and that it is vital for clients to be willing to commit to doing their part in resolving their issues.
Do you accept insurance?
I accept most Blue Cross Blue Shield policies, but I always recommend that clients call the phone number on the back of their BCBS insurance card to verify that they have mental health coverage and that I am in their network. You can also find out if you have a deductible or a copay that you will be responsible to pay.
How long are therapy sessions?
The initial assessment (first session) is 90 minutes and each additional session is 50 minutes.
I've tried therapy before and it didn't work. Should I try again?
Sometimes the chemistry between the therapist and client, or the type of therapy wasn't a good fit. It also may have not been a time that you were ready to be in therapy. Switching therapists or method of treatment may help to achieve treatment even if previous attempts did not achieve success. Therapy always works best when the therapist and client are a good match and when the client is open and willing to participate in their own healing.
How long does therapy take?
This depends. Unlike other health conditions, psychotherapy is a process that requires examination of core issues, childhood events, and patterns of thinking and behaving. It is not a matter of “am I fixed” but rather “am I moving in the right direction”. This process is dependent on each person's individual goals and issues.
How do I know if I need therapy?
If you are experiencing any of the following, you may find psychotherapy very beneficial.
- Problems in relationships
- Frequent conflict with family members
- Persistent sadness
- Frequent anxiety/panic attacks
- Difficulty with life transitions
- Adjusting to divorce
- Struggling with grief and loss
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of guilt, anger, resentment, or hopelessness
- Feeling “stuck” and unable to live the life you want to be living
These are just some of the reasons people seek out therapy. Therapy is a way to look at thoughts and patterns of behavior that do not serve you, and that block you from having the relationships you want, the career you dream of, and the success you know you want but don't know how to get.
When should couples seek counseling?
Here are some of the signs that indicate it is time to seek couples counseling:
- Feeling distant from your partner
- You are having more and more arguments or having the same argument over and over again
- One or both have threatened divorce
- Less affection and physical intimacy
- Avoiding being together
- Tuning each other out
- Not feeling supported by your partner
- Emotional Infidelity
Research shows that couples wait an average of 6 years before getting help. That is a long time to be struggling in a relationship. The sooner couples seek out help, the more likely that therapy with be beneficial.
What should I do to set up a consultation with you?
If you decide you want to speak with me to ask any questions you may have or to set up an appointment, you can call me at 586-222-0616. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond promptly during normal business hours. I look forward to hearing from you.