What are the benefits of therapy?
The process of psychotherapy seeks to meet goals established between you and your therapy provider, usually revolving around a specific complaint(s). Participating in therapy allows for an individual to receive support in current life stressors or past experiences of distress and/or trauma. Therapy may also include benefits such as learning or enhancing coping and problem solving skills, resolution of presenting problems, as well as improved intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships. The therapeutic process may assist with reducing distress, enhancing stress management, and increasing one’s ability to cope with problems related to work, family, relationship or other life stressors. Participating in therapy may lead to greater understanding of personal and relational goals and values which may increase relational harmony and lead to greater happiness.
How can therapy help me?
Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a variety of concerns and assist in guiding you in finding solutions to your struggles. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on your commitment and how you put information and skills gained in session into practice in everyday life. In order for clients to reach their therapeutic goals, it is essential they engage in tasks assigned between sessions as therapy is not a quick fix. It takes time and effort, and therefore it may move slower than your expectations. The following entails an idea of how therapy may provide benefit to you, though this is not an all inclusive list:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and your values
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Healing from prior history of trauma and/or distress
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Changing unhelpful behavior patterns and developing new, more helpful patterns
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Developing skills for improving your relationship with yourself and others
- Improving self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone experiences challenging situations in life. While you may have successfully navigated the difficulties you have endured, there is nothing wrong with seeking out additional support. In fact, those seeking therapy demonstrate courage and self-awareness to recognize they may be in need of additional support, and that is something to be admired. This means taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change and/or heal by seeking therapy. Therapy can provide long-lasting benefits and support, providing you with the tools necessary to assist with managing triggers, re-shaping damaging patterns, and overcoming life challenges.
What is therapy like?
During the therapy process, you will work with your provider through an assessment and treatment process to identify and work towards attaining your individual goals. You can generally expect to discuss the current happenings in your life, your personal history relevant to your struggles, and report progress or insights you have gained between sessions. Depending upon your specific needs, therapy may be short-term for a specific issue or longer-term to heal from more difficult experiences. Regardless, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your provider.
In working with your provider to achieve therapeutic benefits, it is important to take action within as well as outside of sessions to achieve desired results. Therefore, your provider may suggest things you can do outside of sessions to support your process, such as implementing specific coping skills and reflection upon the use of those skills, reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors, etc. Though change is inevitable, it may sometimes be uncomfortable. This discomfort is often where a provider and client see the most growth and progress towards goals. You will work collaboratively with your provider for support and to attain your desirable outcomes.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
Research demonstrates that the more desirable outcomes with regard to mental and emotional struggles are when medication is paired with psychotherapy. Medication alone can be beneficial though generally only treats the symptom while therapy addresses the root causes of distress and behavior patterns that curb progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. You are encouraged to work with your medical doctor to discuss these matters as well as benefits/risks to medication to make a well informed choice that you feel is best for yourself.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and provider. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust to feel safe and comfortable in discussing highly sensitive subject matters one is struggling with. Each provider should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, or an “Informed Consent.” You can expect that what you discuss in session will remain confidential. In the event your provider wishes to collaborate with others on your healthcare team or otherwise providing professional services to you, your provider will discuss this with you and obtain a written release of information, of which you have the right to rescind at any time.
The following are exceptions to confidentiality under law and/or licensure standards, guidelines and ethics:
- Child abuse and/or neglect
- Vulnerable adult abuse and/or neglect
- Harm to others
Any additional exceptions to confidentiality may be found in agreement and/or consent documents signed during the intake process to get started with your provider.
Do you take insurance and how does that work?
You are strongly encouraged to contact your insurance carrier to determine if you have mental/behavioral health coverage. Please check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand the parameters of your coverage. Some helpful questions you can ask your insurance carrier include:
- Do I need a referral from my doctor for mental/behavioral health services?
- What are my mental/behavioral health benefits?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?