Why do people seek therapy?
People enter therapy for many reasons. Some need support in responding to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When one’s coping skills are overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, psychological treatment can be helpful. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and improved and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, stress management, and spiritual conflicts.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. I will attempt to assist you through this difficult, personal process. A session lasts 45 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. At least once-weekly sessions are necessary to make changes, but I often see people more frequently depending on the nature of the presenting issues. We will use the first few sessions to outline your primary concerns, evaluate your needs and desires, and determine if we are a good fit. Once we decide to work together, we will discuss your goals for the treatment and begin our work towards attaining those goals. If you are unsure of your goals, by the end of these first few sessions I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work might include, and together we will develop a treatment plan.
Is therapy confidential?
The law protects the privacy of all communications between a patient and a psychologist. In most situations, I can only release information about your treatment to others if you sign a written authorization form that meets certain legal requirements imposed by HIPAA. There are other situations that require only that you provide written, advanced consent. There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to take action in order to prevent harm. These situations are unusual in my practice, and include the following:
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The psychologist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The psychologist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.
If such a situation arises, I will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any required action, and I will limit disclosure to what I believe to be legally necessary.