Frequently Asked Questions
We provide this page to answer some commonly asked questions. If you have any questions regarding matters that are not mentioned here, please feel free to call our office at 262-641-4347 to ask directly.
Click the following questions to be taken directly to the answers without having to scroll:
- How can therapy help me?
- Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
- Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
- What is therapy like?
- What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
- Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
- Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
How can therapy help me?
Participating in therapy brings a number of benefits.
Therapists can provide
- problem-solving skills
- enhanced coping strategies
for many issues such as
- depression and anxiety
- relationship troubles
- unresolved childhood issues
- grief and loss
- stress management
- body image issues
- creative blocks
and many other challenges all people face in the course of a lifetime. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset in managing
- personal growth
- interpersonal relationships
- family concerns
- marriage issues
- the hassles of daily life
Therapists 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 noticeable benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Learning ways to cope with stress and anxiety that really work for you
- Developing strategies to manage anger, grief, depression, and other pressures
- Improving communication and listening skills
- Trading destructive old behavior patterns for positive new ones
- Discovering more effective ways to solve problems in your family, relationship or business
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
The key word here is “usually.” Everyone goes through challenging situations in life. While you’re to be commended for having successfully navigated other difficulties you’ve faced alone, there’s nothing wrong with seeking extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have the following admirable traits:
- Enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand
- The maturity to take responsibility for their own well-being
- Healthy enough realism to accept that they’ve found the limits of their existing skill set for dealing with a particular issue
- Strength enough to make a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy
The best part about the benefits and support therapy provides is that they’re long-lasting and reliable. Long after you’ve finished your sessions, the tools you discovered and the skills you developed in your work with your therapist will continue to help you avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever new challenges you may face.
If you wish to move from feeling like a victim of your circumstances to being the master of your own life, therapy is a proven means to equip yourself for that journey.
Why do people go to therapy, and how do I know if it’s 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 much-needed encouragement and help develop skills to get them through these periods.
- Others may be at a point where they’re ready to learn more about themselves and why they react to certain situations the way they do.
- Some seek therapy because they want to be more effective at reaching their goals in life.
Therapy can provide much-needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. If you’re wondering whether you’re a good candidate for a positive outcome from therapy, ask yourself the following questions.
- Am I ready to learn to meet the challenges I’m encountering in a healthy and positive way?
- Am I willing to be honest with myself in looking at all facets of my thinking and behavior?
- Am I willing to take responsibility for my own choices, decisions and actions?
- Am I ready to make meaningful changes to improve the quality of my life?
- Can I accept the objective view of someone professionally trained to assess where I am, and the tools they offer me to get where I want to go?
If you can answer “yes” to these questions, chances are you’re a good candidate for a successful outcome with professional counseling.
What is therapy like?
Because each person brings a unique life experience to the work, and has different issues and goals, therapy will be different for every individual. In general, you can expect to
- discuss current events in your life
- examine your personal history relevant to your issue
- report progress or any new insights gained from the previous therapy session
DURATION & FORMAT
Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be
- short-term, for a specific issue
- longer-term, to deal with more entrenched patterns or your desire for more personal development
Either way, it’s most common to schedule regular sessions — usually weekly — with your therapist. This assures enough regularity and continuity to keep you moving toward your goal without having to revisit ground you’ve already covered.
Does therapy really work?
Yes, if you’re willing to. It’s important to understand that you’ll get the best results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.
The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you incorporate what you learn in session back into your life: It’s only theory until you act on it. So, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest things you can do outside of sessions to support your process:
- reading a pertinent book
- journaling on specific topics
- noting particular behaviors
- taking action on your goals
People seeking psychotherapy are
- ready to make positive changes in their lives
- open to new perspectives
- willing to take responsibility for their own choices and behavior
It’s an active process and you are the main actor, with support and guidance from your therapist.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
At Systemic Perspectives, we don’t see the therapy process as an “either/or” scenario. Rather, we see it as an opportunity — indeed, a responsibility — to review all treatment options available, and to combine or isolate them as needed for each individual’s particular situation. Though many people respond positively to psychotherapy without the use of medication, and others do well with a combination of the two, it’s well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be medication alone.
Medication can be helpful in alleviating acute symptoms to allow the balance and stability needed for therapy to work, but it alone cannot address the cause of our problems. Instead of simply treating the symptom, therapy addresses the roots of our distress and helps us identify the behavior patterns that may curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness; one that includes different modes of therapy that may or may not include medication. Working with your medical doctor, you can determine what’s best for you. In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you accept health insurance, and how does that work?
- Does my plan cover mental health?
- If so, what are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage cost limit per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions per coverage term does my plan allow?
- How do I find out which therapists are in my network?
- Will my insurance plan allow me to choose an out-of-network provider?
- If so, how much of such provider’s services will be covered?
- Is approval or referral required from my primary care physician before I can schedule a therapy session?
If your plan does offer mental health service coverage, we will bill your provider directly. After you complete our new client intake forms, you do not need to submit any other paperwork to your insurance company or wait for reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs. However, we do require payment of deductible and any co-pay as determined by your insurer for each appointment, which is due before each session.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components to a professional relationship between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but in the therapist’s office. Every therapist should provide you 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.” There may be times, however, when you want your therapist to share information with or give an update to another provider on your healthcare team (your physician, naturopath, attorney, etc.), but by law, your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain complete client confidentiality, except for the following situations affecting someone’s safety:
- If the therapist suspects abuse or neglect of children or adults at risk, they are legally and ethically bound to report these situations to the authorities — including Child Protection services 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, these situations must also be reported to authorities.