How can therapy help me or my child?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as behavioral difficulties, depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on your involvement in the therapeutic process. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Managing behavioral issues
- Learning social skills
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
How can a Psychological Evaluation help?
A psychological evaluation is used for various reasons. Many times they are needed for school when your child is struggling whether academically or behaviorally. An evaluation can provide feedback on your child's cognitive functioning and academic functioning. It could provide you with a better understanding of why your child is struggling and what services can help your child. It can also provide with diagnostic clarification, such as does my child suffer from ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia.
Adults may also benefit from a psychological evaluation. Sometimes, after years have passed individuals question certain symptoms that may have gone undetected or not clarified. Therefore, an evaluation can help diagnostically for adults as well.
An evaluation can also be necessary for court proceedings. Your attorney may need one for Immigration proceedings or for other legal and court proceedings.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for everyone. Having self-awareness that you need therapy, takes courage and shows your strength in seeking help. It is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. It may be that you are going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, school difficulties, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, internal conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide encouragement and help with skills to get through these stressful periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Therapy depends on the therapeutic approach your therapists uses. Dr. Virginia Boga is a psychodynamic therapist. What does this mean? What will therapy with her look like? The initial sessions are about focusing on developing a therapeutic alliance. The goal is to help the client feel safe and comfortable to explore their thoughts and feelings. As this progresses, the client will start to open up and explore deeper thoughts. Eventually, therapy will lead to making connections between patterns to help clients make changes. The therapist will get to know each individual client well enough to know what their specific needs are, leading to an eventual personal development and a healing experience. Therapy, is most commonly weekly.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- Do I have a deductible?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
- Blue Cross Shield (except for Health First - Member ID starts with a J)
- GHI/Emblem Health
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, School, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.