Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know when it's time to see a therapist?
There is no one answer to this question. The important thing to know is that the decision to see a therapist is a brave and mature step. There is no shame in knowing that you want more satisfaction in your work, emotional, or romantic life. It is a strength, not a weakness, to decide to get to know yourself better and to understand some of the reasons you do what you do.
How do I know if a therapist is right for me?
The most important thing in choosing a therapist is whether he/she can provide an atmosphere conducive to speaking freely and openly. This may not occur immediately, but should occur over time. Ideally, you should be able to verbalize any and all thoughts and feelings, including how you feel the therapy is going.
What if I don't like the therapist I have gone to see?
"Liking" a therapist is not necessarily the most important criteria. Some of the feelings you find yourself having may be related to important aspects of your early life, which may prove useful to discuss. However, if you are convinced that a partiular therapist is not right for you, it is imortant to let them know. They should be able to listen openly to your concerns and if you can't work things out, refer you to someone they think would be more compatible to your needs.
How frequently should I go?
This is one of those questions that has no right answer. You and your therapist together should arrive at a frequency that is right for you.
What if I don"t have insurance?
Therapy can be expensive and it is understandable that if you have insurance coverage you would want to be able to use it. Many therapists have chosen not to particiate in insurance panels due to the challenges to confidentiality and other intrusions by the insurance company. If you have "out-of-network" coverage, you may be eligible for at least partial reimbursement. It is important to have given some thought as to what you can afford the first time you meet with a new therapist. Many therapists have hours put aside for people who need flexible fee accomodations. It's important to agree on a fee that you can manage. If you agree to a fee that is not realistic for you, you may become resentful and/or have to terminate therapy prematurely.
How does psychotherapy work?
Therapy has long been called "the talking cure." But for a long time we didn't quite know why. Scientific studies now confirm that it is indeed all in the talking. When we can speak freely in a safe environment, with an objective participant who can help us resolve obstacles in our way, we free up energy and new pathways are actually created in the brain. Much as we can develop a new habit by doing something new and/or different long enough so that it becomes our "new normal," talking productively can do the same thing for how we feel. This doesn't happen overnight, however, and that can be frustrating.