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Common Questions

How do I know if therapy is right for me?

Everyone struggles with issues or problems from time to time. Generally speaking, these problems should not interfere with your daily functioning to a significant degree. If you start to experience distress for most of the day on more days than not, or you notice the problem is affecting your personal, work, or school life, you might consider seeking help from a therapist.  Seeking therapy is an individual choice.

There are many reasons why you might seek therapy. Examples may be dealing with stress, grief, depression or anxiety, chronic illness, or long-standing psychological issues, or difficult changes such as divorce, career moves, or life path choices. One might also seek therapy in pursuit of self-exploration, self-awareness, and growth. A therapist can provide support, insight, and fresh strategies for many kinds of issues.

What happens at the first session and thereafter?

A standard session is 50 minutes long.  At the first session, we will get to know each other. I will ask you about your background and presenting concerns to get an idea of the current situation. This is also your opportunity to assess whether or not you feel comfortable with me and would like to continue working together. If for any reason either of us feels that you would be better helped by another therapist, I will offer referrals.

If we decide that we would like to work together, each 50 minute session in the future will be unique to your specific concerns and goals. It is common to schedule a series of one session per week at the beginning of therapy and then taper off to one session every other week as progress is made. If you are going through a particularly difficult time, you may request more than one session per week or more time per session (1.5 hour sessions may be reserved). The duration of therapy depends on your unique circumstance. You may stop therapy at any time – you are not locked in for any specified amount of time.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life's challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
  • Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
  • Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
  • Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
  • Improving ways to manage anger, depression, and moods
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Enhancing the overall quality of life

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.
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