What does LCSW stand for?
Licensed Clinical Social Workers have been providing therapy to clients for many decades. LCSW's are trained in a variety of therapeutic orientations and are highly qualified to assist folks by applying innovative, as well as time-tested methods in changing our lives for the better. When we are in stressful situations we aren't able to be truly objective and this is, in part, why we employ a therapist. Becoming motivated, grounded and on the desired path toward balance and feeling good is what life is all about.
Is therapy the best direction for me to take?
Seeking therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come into counseling. Sometimes it's to deal with long-standing family issues or problems with anxiety and depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes or losses in one's life such as death, divorce or career transitions. And many folks seek the services of a therapist as they pursue their journeys of personal exploration and growth.
Working with a therapist can provide insight, support and new strategies for dealing with life's challenges. During the therapeutic process we can address many issues including career/relationship challenges, depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, addiction and everyday life transitions. Therapy will work for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and putting effort toward change. Sometimes it's not 'who' we are which needs to be adjusted as much as 'how' we are . . or maybe, just how we do things?
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Therapy is a choice. We all go through challenging situations in life, and while we may have successfully navigated around many difficulties presented, it is wise to seek extra support when we need it. In fact, therapy is for folks who have enough self-awareness and courage to realize they need a helping hand, and that is, in itself, deserving of respect. We are taking responsibility for our own happiness by accepting where we are in life and making commitments to change our situation by seeking counseling. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving us the necessary tools for identifying/avoiding triggers, re-directing damaging patterns and changing behavioral habits that no longer serve us. Therapy can assist us in dealing with many of the life challenges we face.
How can therapy help me?
We can avail ourselves to a number of benefits when participating in therapy. Counselors are able to provide support and assist us in developing problem-solving skills and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, addiction, domestic violence, body image issues and creative blocks.
Many people also find that therapists can be tremendous assets in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and even just the hassles of daily life. Counseling can provide fresh perspectives on difficult problems or help point you in the direction of a solution. The positives you obtain from therapy depend on how well you are willing to utilize the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the gains available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolutions to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Acquiring tools to cope with stress or anxiety and making necessary life-changing decisions
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communication and listening skills
- Changing old behavioral patterns and developing more effective choices
- Discovering new methods in which to solve problems in your family or primary relationship
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence that can lead to a happier/healthier you!
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to the individual and their specific goals. It is standard practice for the client and the therapist to discuss primary issues and life concerns during sessions. Everybody's situations are individual and it is common to schedule a series of fifty-minute weekly sessions. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when your counselor suggests that you take certain actions outside of the office, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. To get the most out of therapy, between sessions an individual/couple/ can process what has been discussed during the fifty minutes and integrate it into their lives or keep a journal.
For therapy to be most effective we need to be active participants, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy need to be willing to take responsibility for their actions, work toward self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some benefits one can expect to receive from therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and unpleasant feelings
- Realistic strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the best course of action. Sometimes when working with medical doctors, we can determine what's best for us. It is well established though, that the long-term solution to mental/emotional problems and the pain they cause usually cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that impede our progress. We can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Does the office accept insurance? How does insurance work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you need to do is check out your benefit package info and/or contact your health insurance carrier. You might check your coverage to find the answers to the following questions:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the allowed amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover in a calendar year?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network providesr?
- Is pre-approval required from my primary care physician or insurance carrier?
- What is my co-pay or co-insurance?
I am a preferred provider for several PPO/HMO plans. If your carrier is not on this list, I will do my best to negotiate a fee schedule that works for both of us. Some carriers will pay a percentage of 'out of network' providers' fees.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule which are required by law. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child//dependent adult or elder abuse. In these cases, the therapist is mandated to report to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening imminent serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm him/ herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual is not able to cooperate, additional measures to protect the client from him/herself may need to be taken.