How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy.
Psychologists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced
coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship
troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and body
image issues. Many people also find that psychologists can be a tremendous
asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family
concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Dr. Schroder can
provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the
direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain depend on many factors
including 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, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
Improving communications and listening skills
Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
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 seeking out extra support when you need it.
Change of any sort, requires courage. 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.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.
Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce,
new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.
Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as
low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems,
spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide
some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through
these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to
learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals
in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet
the challenges in their lives. There's the old joke; how many
psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one but the light
bulb has to really want to change!
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will
be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect
to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history
relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained)
from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs,
therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal
with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.
Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions - often
weekly at least in the beginning.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if
you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of
therapy is to help you bring what you learn in each session back into your
life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, I may
suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process -
such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting
particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People who benefit from
psychotherapy make positive changes in their lives, are open to new
perspectives and take responsibility for themselves.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
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. Working with your medical doctor you can
determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication
and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance
carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your
coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful
questions you can ask them:
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?
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and
his or her psychologist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust
with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere
but the therapist's office. Every psychologist should provide a
written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect
that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This
is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want me to
share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (for
example, your Physician), but by law I cannot release this information
without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain
confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders
to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on
information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger
of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.