Frequently asked questions

Do I really need therapy?

This common question often delays people from embarking on a growth process in therapy due to questioning whether or not therapy is really the answer.  Common signs that you may benefit from therapy include:  when the way you feel begins to negatively impact your sleep patterns, your job, ability to concentrate, appetite, relationships with loved ones and friends, or your decision-making abilities.  If you are finding that you feel down, lost, stuck, hopeless, or “blue” frequently, therapy can be a space to process these feelings and develop helpful solutions.  Frequently experiencing these feelings may be a strong indicator that it’s time to seek out the help of a trained professional.

Should I just try to work through my issues on my own?

We are equipped with various coping skills and methods to help us get through tough times.  However, sometimes unknowingly, these coping skills are no longer sufficient enough to help us through and we find that old patterns keep repeating.  Perhaps these coping skills are also not entirely healthy for our overall wellbeing.  It is easy to put off seeking help and the decision to accept help can feel extremely difficult for many people.  Dismissing feelings of anxiety, depression, emotional pain, family conflict, or relationship stress as “just life” contributes to recurring painful patterns, especially when these feelings arise as real difficulty in normal day-to-day functioning.  Taking responsibility for your mental wellbeing is an empowering first step.  It takes courage, and it puts you back in control of your emotional and overall wellbeing.  This small action step of reaching out can have a surprisingly positive effect on your outlook, mood, and feeling toward life!

What does professional therapy provide?

Professional counseling services give you the space and an opportunity to share your story, but also to gain new understanding and perspective.  Life can be troublesome at times, and difficult circumstances are sometimes beyond our control, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Therapy both supports and guides you to set achievable goals and begin to make lasting changes.  The foundation for leading you to both regain control and practice healthier patterns is set by getting to the root of the issues at hand, and learning techniques to change unhealthy behaviors for long-lasting improvement.

What occurs during a therapy session?

Therapy sessions vary in duration, structure, and therapeutic approach based on the needs and goals of each client.   As clients progress through therapy, the format may change and adapt to clients’ changing needs.  Sometimes clients approach therapy with an agenda or specific things they’d like to talk about, such as a recent occurrence or stressful past incident.  Other times, people want to share a story of triumph, a bothersome emotion, or a vague thought they just can’t shake.  Sessions progress based on the client’s needs.  Active participation and collaboration drives steady progress.  Outside activities or an assignment, such as journaling or reading a book, may be strongly encouraged in addition to in-session activities and discussion.  Identifying areas where growth or guidance is needed, setting reachable goals, and establishing resources and healthy skills for short- and long-term success is the overall goal of therapy.

What if I don't want to talk about something?

Some experiences or topics can be difficult to talk about, and that is completely normal and OK.  You are not required to talk about anything that feels uncomfortable or that you don’t feel like sharing.  Our sessions always progress at a pace that you feel ready for and we place great importance on building a trusting therapeutic relationship.

How long would I have to be in therapy?

There is no limit placed on how long you can be in therapy.  The therapeutic process is uniquely tailored to fit each person’s needs, challenges, strengths, and goals.  There is no pre-established limit on therapy sessions and typically the decision to terminate therapy is a collaborative decision between the therapist and client.  Sometimes growth occurs quickly in session and sometimes the process spans across multiple sessions, weeks, or months.  Typically, sessions are scheduled for 50-60 minutes in duration, one session per week.  This can be altered based upon need.

Is what I talk about in therapy kept confidential?

Yes of course.  As therapists, we are bound to HIPAA and take confidentiality very seriously.  We value your privacy and understand that in becoming a client, you are entrusting us with vulnerable personal information.  Anything you transmit over our website is secure, and any stored data (such as electronic records) is HIPAA-compliant.  Information you share in therapy sessions is legally protected and cannot be released unless you sign a waiver for us to do so.  Examples of this include signing a release for us to speak with your doctor, psychiatrist, or other professional for the benefit of your therapy.  Exceptions to confidentiality are the following:  incidences of suspected child or elder abuse or neglect, if you threaten to harm yourself, if you threaten to harm someone else, or if a judge subpoenas your records.  Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our confidentiality standards or code of ethics.  We are happy to provide additional information.