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Common Questions

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with negative experiences or traumas, or long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. 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 unresolved trauma, depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.


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 taking a short-cut and 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.  And with advancements in treatment, therapy need not be uncomfortable or long-term to be beneficial.


How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. Many people also find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. Therapy 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, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence


What is therapy like? 

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty 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 are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.


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. 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.


Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

I do not accept insurance.  However, I can always provide you with the needed documenation and billing so that you may be reimbursed by your insurance carrier.  I do accept funding from Victim Compensation.

I caution people about using insurance for mental health services, because most insurance companies require you to authorize me to provide them with a clinical diagnosis. Sometimes I have to provide additional clinical information such as treatment plans or summaries, or copies of the entire record (in rare cases). This information will become part of the insurance company files and will probably be stored in a computer. Though all insurance companies claim to keep such information confidential, I have no control over what they do with it once it is in their hands. In some cases, they may share the information with a national medical information databank.  While insurance makes treatment more affordable, you often end up paying more by losing your privacy rights.  It is important to remember that you always have the right to pay for my services yourself to avoid the problems described above (unless prohibited by contract).

To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you need to 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 much is my deductible?  How much is my co-pay?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • Is the therapist I want a provider for my specific insurance plan?
  • Will I be reimbursed (and if so, how much) if I use an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?
  • What is my authorization number for treatment services?


Is therapy confidential?

In general, the privacy of all communications between a patient and a psychologist is protected by law, and I can only release information about our work to others with your written permission. There are exceptions to the general rule of legal confidentiality. These exceptions are listed in the Colorado Revised Statues (see section 12-43-218). 

In most legal proceedings, you have the right to prevent me from providing any information about your treatment. In some proceedings involving child custody and those in which your emotional condition and/or mental health is an important issue (such as a custody dispute, an injury lawsuit that claims compensation for emotional pain & suffering, etc.), a judge may order my testimony if he/she determines that the issues demand it. Similarly, you would lose protection of your privilege if you file a complaint with the state licensing board.
 
There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to take action to protect others from harm, even if I have to reveal some information about a client’s treatment. For example, if I believe that a child or an elderly person is being abused, I must file a report with the appropriate state agency.
 
If I believe that a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another, I am required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking hospitalization for the patient. If the client threatens to harm himself/herself, I may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection.
 
These situations have rarely occurred in my practice. If a similar situation occurs, I will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action.
 
I may find it helpful to consult other professionals about a case. During a consultation, I make every effort to avoid revealing the identity of my client. The consultant is also legally bound to keep the information confidential. If you don’t object, I will not tell you about these consultations unless I feel that it is important to our work together.
 
While this written summary of exceptions to confidentiality should prove helpful in informing you about potential problems, it is important that we discuss any questions or concerns that you may have. I will be happy to discuss these issues with you if you need specific advice, but formal legal advice may be needed because the laws governing confidentiality are quite complex, and I am not an attorney.
 
The financial part of our relationship also imposes some confidentiality limits. If you are using insurance or another third party payer, I must share certain information with them, including (but not necessarily limited to) your diagnosis and the times of your visits, symptoms, progress, etc. You should also understand that insurance and managed care information is often stored in national computer databases. If I find myself in a dispute with you over billing, I may only provide the information necessary to clarify and collect any outstanding balance.


 

 

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