Common Questions

How can therapy help me?
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 depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapist 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 how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • 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

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 people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that 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. Therapy makes life better and helps you grow in ways you may not have expected as well as in ways you want growth.

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.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, 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, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these 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?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually 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.   In short people seeking psychotherapy want to grow and change.  While both may be scary they are wonderful to experience.
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?
Currently I do take select insurances. I can provide a Superbill if your insurance is one that I am not in network with. if requested but please be aware that any services I provide will be using your Out of Network benefits. For additional information on the insurance companies I am affiliated with please click on the Rates & Insurance tab. 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?
  • 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? 

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, Attorney, Employer or a family member), 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. How do I decide which Counselor / Therapist to form a relationship with? Deciding on a psychotherapist can seem like an overwhelming d ecision. It is an important one and one you must be comfortable with. You are ideally looking for some you can trust, be comfortable welcoming into your thoughts, emotions and sharing your behavior with. Your therapist needs to be someone that you can firmly believe has your best interest at heart. Hopefully the following information will help dispel some of the mystery, anxiety and help you decide what type of therapist you want.  Honestly I hope you choose me but its more important to me that you choose the right therapist for you.

  • I recommend narrowing your search to a Licensed professional who attended a university program that was accredited by the  accredidation program for their field.  My program was accredited by COAMFT.  Someone who is licensed has gone through a specified training program, has been reviewed by a state Licensing Board and is required to remain active in continuing education in their chosen field.  Amoung licensed professionals you may encounter the following initials:  LMFT, LPC, LCSW or a licensed Psychologist They may have masters degrees or PhD's.  By being licensed you have a state entity that you can lodge any ethical or mistreatment complaints to that they have to answer to in order to maintiain their license.  You don't have that kind of accountability with non-licensed professionals.
  • Clerical Counseling - In Georgia pastors and identified church personal can provide counseling services.  They are not required to be licensed or have any form of professinal training in order to provide counseling services.  However, there are a number of individuals with MDiv or Masters of Divinity degrees that provide counseling services.  You can inquire as to their training, philosophies etc. as you are deciding if this is the path you desire.  Many non-clerical counselors/therapist are also spiritually oriented. If this is important to  you in your counselor/therapist be sure to ask them as part of your initial consultation.
  • LAMFT or LAPC the A in LA indicates Licensed Associate. This is an individual that is working to obtain full licensure but is generally a more recent graduate of a Masters degree program.  They are required to have clinical supervision and work a minimum of two years while obtaining a specified number of clinical hours working with clients prior to becoming fully licensed. 
  • LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Their training programs vary, some are trained to be community counselors some have a more clinical tract. In general their training focuses on the individual solely.  They can do family counseling or couples counseling but may not be as well trained in complexities of relationship therapy, however some are. Don't hesitate to ask.
  • LCSW is a Licensed Clincial Social Worker. They frequently work in agencies, may be able to accept Medicaid and Medicare. While competent counselors the work from a social work persepective.  LCSW is a designated Core Mental Health Profession.
  • Psychologist frequently perform neuropsych and other testing procedures.  Some carry a caseload of regular clients and some only do testing. All have PhD's and maybe licensed in a variety of fields depending on their education. Clincial Psychology is a Core mental Health Profession.
  • Psychiatrist are medical doctors who choose psychiatry as their specialty.  Generally more do medication management than counseling/therapy services. Often patients will have a psychiatrist as well as a counselor or therapist. Psychiatry is a Core Mental Health Profession.
  • LMFTs are licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. LMFT's treat children, individuals, couples, families and organizations. This is the only prefession designated as a Therapist and is a Core Mental Health Profession. LMFTs are systemic therapist. Even when we are working with an individual we are aware of the outside systems that are at play for the individual. No person is an island unto themselves. We all have systems that influence and affect us. LMFTs are trained to work with people throughout the life continum as individals or part of groups of various sizes.  I am an LMFT. I believe you get a more holistic and comprehensive approach when you utilize an LMFT.  I invite you to contact me for an initial consultation to help you determine if I am the therapist for you. Our relationship and your comfort and health are important to me.

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