Every person is different. If a person finds that they tend to run into some of the same problems in life repeatedly, it might be a clue and good idea to maybe talk with someone about these patterns. Sometimes it is helpful to just talk to someone that is not as emotionally involved and can be an “outsider looking in”. Also, being able to gage how severe a problem is helps to determine if you might need therapy. Certainly if a person is having suicidal thoughts or is self-harming, that person should seek professional help.
Therapy sessions are generally 50 minutes long. How often a person meets with the therapist is usually determined by individual need. Unless a person is experiencing a major crisis in life, most sessions are held 2 to 3 times a month.
The length of therapy depends on treatment goals and what a person’s desired outcomes might be. In general though, most people are able to work through problems over a course of about 6 months to a year depending on the severity of the issues. And with less severe issues, some people get what they need from therapy after just a few sessions.
The cost of therapy sessions are $120.00 per session. However, the out-of-pocket expense depends on an individual’s financial situation. Most health insurance plans cover the cost of therapy sessions and so a person’s out-of-pocket expense would depend on the co-pays or deductibles of the individual’s plan. Some employers provide EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) that cover 100% of the cost of therapy for a certain amount of sessions (generally 3-5 sessions). In cases where a person does not have health insurance or is on a limited income, we do have a sliding scale fee schedule that is based on family income.
Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM and on Fridays 9:30 to 1:00 PM. Many times people do ask about meeting in the evening. At this time, we do not have any evening hours available. Therapy, like going to the doctor, sometimes requires taking off from work. We can provide a work or school excuse if needed.
Medications can only be prescribed by a licensed medical doctor or nurse practitioner. Since I am licensed as a Marital and Family Therapist, I DO NOT prescribe medication. Usually, if you think you might need or benefit from medication, talk with your PCP (primary care physician) first. He/She can determine what medication can be appropriate for your symptoms or if you need to be referred to a psychiatrist.
Certainly marriage therapy works best if both parties are present. But when there is high conflict in the relationship or when just one person is not willing to come to therapy, there can be some benefit in talking about relationship issues individually. Very often the therapist will meet with couples individually when it seems there are personal issues that may be better addressed that way.
The first step is to contact the therapist by phone or email to schedule an appointment. The therapist will send you the intake forms you will need to complete and bring with you to your first appointment. After the first appointment, you will decide with the therapist future appointments and your course of treatment.
One of the most important things to know about therapy is that everything discussed during a session is confidential. The law requires it! Certainly being open and honest with the therapist is very important in helping a person work through issues in their lives and relationships. It just helps the therapist in understanding you and being able to truly help you. The only time the therapist would every break confidentiality is if the therapist thinks a person might hurt themselves or someone else. And in cases where a child has been abused, the therapist is required to report to the proper authorities.
When a child is having behavior problems at home or at school, usually it is an indication that something traumatic is happen in that child’s life. Family discord, divorce, moving to a new place, parenting style, relationships with the parents, sibling influences and peer influences all can have an effect on a child’s behavior. Having a stable and loving family will do more than any sort of therapy in helping a child with behavior problems. Because of this fact, our approach to counseling with children will involve the whole family. The parents are key in helping correct and change behavior problems in children. Our approach is to work with the parents first, and then bring in the child for counseling/therapy later to teach the child new coping skills.