Answers to common questions about therapy
Do you provide teletherapy?
Absolutely! There are numerous reasons why typical outpatient therapy simply may not be possible for you. Teletherapy offered via the phone, Skype or FaceTime is a wonderful alternative with proven success rates. Studies indicate that teletherapy can be just as effective as in-person psychotherapy. For my practice, however, I can only provide teletherapy to residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
What if I need or want to consider medication as an adjunct to psychotherapy?
Medication can often be helpful in supporting a person to feel a greater sense of well-being. If you are suffering from persistent or debilitating depression, anxiety or other troubling symptoms, and are interested in exploring whether medication may be helpful, your therapist will either refer you to a psychiatrist for a consultation, or help you in obtaining a referral through other means. If you wish to consider other methods of symptom management, such as the use of alternative remedies available through non-allopathic sources, such as homeopathy, your therapist may also have recommendations of referrals.
Why do individuals, couples and families typically seek therapy?
There are many reasons people seek the support of psychotherapy, ranging from anxiety or depression, to difficulties in creating and sustaining stable and nurturing bonds with others, to fears of expressing themselves authentically or trusting others. Some seek the assistance of psychotherapy to understand anger or conflicts with family members, spouses or other persons with whom they are engaged romantically, collegially or as friends, or lingering influences from their early lives that affected them adversely. Others seek the help of psychotherapy to develop new ways of responding to circumstances that have been habitually problematic, to develop more capacity for intimacy or to experience more joy and contentment in their lives. Sometimes a particular experience, such as a separation, divorce or a turbulent disagreement, or a milestone, such as marrying or becoming a parent, may also precipitate the decision to seek counseling. At other times a long-standing and vague sense of feeling lost, confused and disengaged from others could be the reason. The reasons as are vast and as varied as people themselves, but most people share a desire for a more gratifying experience of their lives.
In what ways is psychotherapy typically found to be helpful?
According to a study conducted through the auspices of Consumer Reports, psychotherapy has been proven to be as effective as medication in helping to relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It has also been shown to be useful in assisting persons to (1) Develop more psychological awareness and insight, (2) Learn to communicate more effectively, (3) Learn to resolve both internal and interpersonal conflicts, (4) Manage, reduce or relieve symptoms of emotional distress, (5) Develop more social, relational or vocational functioning, (6) Pursue personal growth and development and (7) Reconstruct their lives in the aftermath of trauma and abuse.
How long can I expect to be in therapy?
The length of therapy is dependent on many factors including: your goals, how frequently and consistently you attend sessions, your level of motivation for change, and the type of concerns or issues you are addressing in therapy. In general, recent situational stressors or problems can be addressed in fewer sessions than longer-standing issues, or situations involving trauma or abuse. Of course, therapy is a collaborative process and we need to work together.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. To derive the most from psychotherapy, attend your sessions regularly. If you are struggling with excess alcohol or drug consumption, it is generally recommended that you abstain from substance use at least 24 hours before your sessions.
How long is a typical psychotherapy session and how often will I meet with my therapist?
Most sessions begin on a weekly basis. All sessions are 45 minutes in length. However, depending upon your needs and goals we may decide to meet more or less frequently. We make that decision together.