Is therapy right for my child or my family?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why children/families come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in the family's life such as a divorce or work transition. Parents of blended families may seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration in the marriage. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including the "new" child in the family, unresolved conflict, grief, stress management, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for any child who is engaging or suffering the family transitions of: divorce, separation, transfer from one family member to another. Parents may be suffering distress over taking on new responsibilities or experiencing unforseen changes in their lives individually. Parental guidance is an important part in handling the stressors of the changing family configuration.
Does my child/adolescent really need therapy? We can usually handle our 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 your child/marriage/family is at a critical point and by making a commitment to initiate change. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving tools needed to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and to develop strategies for whatever challenges you, your children or family.
How can therapy help us?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. My therapeutic training in child and family therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, ADHD, trauma, grief, stress management, and creative blocks. I provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or make a suggestion towards the possibility of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and attempt to practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- The child attains a better understanding of self, goals and values
- Developing skills for improving relationships for your child with the family or others
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you or your family to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety either from school and/or home
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures, particularly in divorce and separation
- ADHD/ Improving communication, listening, and concentration skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem of your child or family and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like for a child and/or family?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 45-50 minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you or your child are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. This process integrates the help into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective, you and/or your child must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy deveop willingness to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and therefore, create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding for self or family members
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you or your child. 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 causes of distress and the behavior patterns that curb progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. This may or may not include medication.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- 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?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety and a plan will be negotiated. However, if an individual is not able to cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.