Psychotherapy and Counseling

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy has been called the “talking cure,” that helps people reduce depression and anxiety, gain a deeper understanding of themselves, and feel more more in control of their lives. The “talking” is more than just conversation or encouragement. Psychotherapy is aimed at helping you find specific ways to cope with current stressors. It also gives you greater perspective into the circumstances you’ve found yourself in, and the choices you’ve made during the course of your life. With this perspective, you can learn to make better choices, so that you won’t find yourself feeling quite as overwhelmed in the future.

Psychotherapy is specifically tailored to you. During the initial phase of your therapy I will evaluate your current situation as well as your personality and history. As part of the evaluation you may be asked to take one or more psychological tests. It is important to obtain as much information as necessary in order to have a good understanding of you and your experiences.

During the course of our work together, I may assign reading or other homework. In order to maximize the results of your therapy, you must be prepared to become actively involved in the process. Insight alone is not enough. Just knowing what to do will not change anything. You must begin to take charge of your life, and practice what you’ve learned from therapy.

How long does psychotherapy take?

This depends on the severity of your problems, the depth to which you want to explore, and the rate at which you make progress. Some people use therapy to help them through crises, which can often be accomplished in eight sessions or less. Other people want to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and those around them. Naturally, this takes more time, and can go on for months or years. Sessions are typically once per week at the beginning, and can later be at intervals of two weeks, a month or longer.

Is everything confidential in psychotherapy?

Anything communicated during the course of psychological evaluation or therapy will be held in strictest confidence. No one will have access to information in your file without your explicit permission, with the following exceptions:

1. If I have reason to believe that you are at imminent risk of hurting yourself or someone else, I am required to take steps to help prevent such harm. This may include informing or warning others of the risk.

2. If I have strong evidence that a person under 18 years of age is being or has been sexually molested, I must report it to authorities.

3. If your account is seriously overdue, it may be turned over to a collection agency. In that case, only the dates of your sessions and the amount owed will be reported. All details will be kept confidential.

4. If you use health insurance to pay for part or all of your sessions, your contract with the insurer usually requires that I submit information about you to them. If you choose not to use insurance, nothing will be revealed about you to anyone without your consent, except in the circumstances listed above.