Just like the reasons for therapy are different for everyone, most people can expect different experiences. The good news is that therapy is completely individually-focused, which is why everyone can get something different out of it. Generally, your life, your history, and any relevant insights will be important to the specific discussions, but in a very personal and individualized manner. Sometimes therapy can be focused on a specific need, in which case it’s a ‘short term’ solution, while in other cases, many people go to therapy regularly, each week, to simply look for more personal growth.
Again, therapy isn’t meant to be some kind of ‘quick fix’ where you simply sit back and listen. It is a participatory experience. The more you involve yourself in the process, the better results you’re bound to see. It’s a practice in everyday living, in which you take what you learn from the session, and apply it to your life. Therefore, it’s important to be mentally prepared to make those changes in your life, and desire new perspectives on things.
Insurance companies are different – some reimburse for mental health services with out-of-network providers and others do not. I recommend that you call your insurance company to find out what they will reimburse you for an out-of-network provider under your particular plan.
Do the topics in each therapy session remain private?
There is practically nothing more important in therapy than confidentiality. As with any doctor/client agreement, your privacy is of the utmost importance. A good therapist understands the vulnerability and openness that must come from each client in order to really get through, so therapy itself can take a lot of trust, and that needs to be developed over time. Make sure your therapist offers a confidentiality agreement before you begin your sessions, typically called ‘informed consent.’ It is your choice if you’d like to have your therapist share anything significant with your other healthcare providers, but this can only be done with your written consent. Nothing you share in your sessions is to be told to anyone else, with the rare exceptions of suspected abuse of any kind (including child protection), or if the therapist has any reason to believe their client may hurt themselves, or others.
These exceptions are based on legal requirements in the state of Alabama.
While medication has been proven to help with many different disorders, it has also been proven that time and time again, it simply isn’t enough. Medication often treats the symptoms of a problem without getting to the root of solving it, which is where therapy comes in. The decision to take psychotropic medications or not, is a highly personal one, and your personal wishes will be honored. If in the course of treatment, you decide you might benefit from medications, I will refer you out to an appropriate provider.
There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t experience challenges of some kind throughout their life. Some people can simply get through them better than others, and even then, it’s never a bad idea to have additional support and understanding when it comes to the obstacles you’ve encountered. Therapy is ideal for people who understand themselves enough to realize they actually could use some help, instead of denying it. Acknowledging that your life isn’t necessarily where you want it to be is a big thing to admit and taking the steps to change that for the better is something to be incredibly proud of. You’re taking the first step down an incredible path that can lead to long-lasting benefits for the rest of your life, even when challenges come up again.
Everyone’s reasons for coming to therapy are different, whether they’re going through a big life change, or a specific event like divorce, or just aren’t dealing with stressful situations ideally. Sometimes, the assistance of therapy can not only help with specific situations, but personal issues as well. Depression, anxiety, relationship issues, couples counseling, and even low self-esteem are often common reasons to seek out help. You may start out looking for one thing, and find on your journey that you can gain so much more through learning the right skills, and having the right kind of encouragement.
In terms of making the ‘right decision’ for yourself, of course therapy is a personal decision, but if you take a look at your life, and your desire is to make a change that starts from within, it’s likely that some form of psychotherapy could be a great benefit.
There are a variety of benefits that can come from therapy, and they tend to be individualized. Therapists are there to provide support, teach certain skills, and help clients discover new coping strategies for things like anxiety, depression, stress, or even creative blocks. You don’t need to have a ‘major disorder’ to find therapy useful. In fact, if you’re simply looking for personal growth or feel stuck on a particular situation at work, or at home with family or friends, therapy can help you figure out how to move forward. Essentially, a therapist offers a different way of looking at things – perhaps a perspective you haven’t yet considered, which makes it easier to point you in the right direction, and find the solutions you’re looking for in your life.
Of course, therapists can’t just ‘fix’ everything on their own. It’s about using those resources you learn in your everyday life that can really turn things around. Still unsure about what therapy could do for you? Let’s take a look at a few examples of some common benefits:
– Grasping a deeper understanding of who you are
– Identifying your goals and dreams
– Obtaining the right skills for bettering your life’s relationships
– Learning resources to put an end to the issues that brought you to therapy
– Managing problem areas in your personal life, like anger, stress, depression, etc.
– Creating new patterns of behavior for yourself
– Changing your problem-solving perspective
– Boosting your self-esteem and confidenc
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