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How do I know if I need psychotherapy?

Throughout our lives, there are times when we need help addressing problems and confronting issues that cause us emotional distress, make us feel overwhelmed or get in the way of our day-to-day functioning. When you are experiencing these or similar difficulties, you may find psychotherapy to be very helpful. I offer the caring, expert assistance needed during these stressful times. I can help you identify your problems and develop strategies to cope with them or overcome them.

People come to therapy to get help. The impetus for therapy is as unique and diverse as the individuals who seek it, but typically people come to find assistance they haven’t found in other areas of their life. Depending on the issue and type of therapy, this help may come in the form of support, information, guidance, self-knowledge and/or the space to learn and practice new tools.

How long will my therapy take?

The length of therapy really depends mainly on the issues being addressed and the desire of the individual to feel better. Other factors play a role, many of which we have control over, some we do not. Typically, however, many disorders require only short-term treatment such as simple phobias, impotence, and other very specific issues. Some disorders can take years to get to a resolution such as with victims of severe sexual or physical abuse, bipolar disorder, or some personality disorders. During this time, however, treatment can wax and wane, with periods of really good days, weeks, and months, and periods of not so good days. Treatment can also progress in a more linear fashion, with small gains being made at a steady pace.

What can I expect in therapy?

The first session(s) will focus on us getting to know each other and establishing a level of comfort and safety for you. I work very hard to create a warm, relaxing and caring atmosphere where we will be able to explore what’s bothering you, examine the effects the problem is having on your life and work toward the root of the issue. People often come to therapy concerned or upset about something that turns out to be a symptom of a more subtle problem. We will work toward understanding the real origin of what is bothering you and how you can make the changes you want to see.

Does therapy really work? If so, how?

Yes, therapy works. Countless studies have shown that clients who work with a qualified therapist experience marked improvement in their day-to-day function and overall satisfaction with life and relationships. Three of the primary factors that make therapy successful are creating a solid, trusting client-therapist relationship, reaching an understanding of your emotions and behaviors, and learning how to maintain the gains made during your therapy. The most important of these three factors has consistently been shown to be the strong therapeutic alliance between the client and therapist. The trusting, empathic relationship fosters a safe environment to explore topics that can be painful, embarrassing, or frightening. It is this exploration that leads to growth and gives therapy its power.

Is what I say confidential?

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I am required to protect the confidentiality of my communications with clients. State licensing laws also protect client confidentiality. As my client, you are guaranteed the protection of confidentiality within the boundaries of the client/therapist relationship. Any disclosure will be made with your full written, informed consent and will be limited to a specific period of time. The only limitations to confidentiality occur where there appears to be a clear and imminent danger to you or to others, or when legal requirements demand that confidential information be disclosed such as a court case. Whenever possible, you will be informed before confidential information is revealed.

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