What makes a therapist a good therapist?
Research has shown that when all is said and done, the most important quality of a good therapist is his or her ability to build an authentic and safe relationship with their patient. Less important is their theoretical orientation (the kind of therapy they practice), where they went to school and their philosophical or religious beliefs. A good therapist is a therapist that listens deeply, makes you feel heard and understood, and with whom you feel safe.
How do I know if I need therapy?
Sometimes, it's hard to know. Clearly, if you feel that without help, you won't be OK, then come in right away. If your life is somehow less than you expect, you often have a sense that you are not living up to your full potential, that you have somehow missed out on something in your life, you might want to come in and check it out. People come to therapy for all kinds of reasons.
Do you accept insurance?
I don't directly accept insurance as payment but I can provide a monthly superbill that can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement of what you have already paid. Typically a PPO will do this. Check with your insurance provider to see if they reimburse for psychotherapy.
How long will I need to be in therapy?
That depends on a number of factors including how often you can come, if you've been in therapy before, and the reason you are coming for therapy. Some clients come for only a few sessions, while others may stay in therapy for several years.
How often should I come?
Most of my clients attend weekly, which is usually my initial recommendation. Having weekly sessions helps to build relationship and get momentum rolling. But that is not mandatory. We can make this decision together during our first meeting. Factors that might be considered include scheduling, financial concerns, and intensity of process.
What should I expect from my first session?
Your first session is a time for you to make sure that you feel comfortable with me, and for me to make an initial assessment and give you some feedback about what you might expect from therapy. You will be asked to read through an Informed Consent form, provide some basic information like your name, phone number, etc. You will have time to ask me about my education, approach to therapy, and credentials.
Do you prescribe medication? What is your view of medication?
I do not prescribe medication. Only a doctor with a medical license can do that, such as an MD or a psychiatrist. I believe that medication can be a great support to many people and that it should be used in extreme situations to help a person function and benefit from therapy. Medicating children is tricky and can be dangerous. Many medications have not been tested on children, and most have not been tested for long term use. If you or your child are going to start taking psychotropic medication, be sure to learn as much as you can. Ask your doctor to provide detailed information on side effects, use with children, and long term impact.