Q & A
People seek therapy for different reasons. These may include, but not limited to the following:
1- When a relationship begins to fall apart.
2- When one is in crisis.
3- When one wants to have a better understanding of themselves in relation to others and/or the world (philosophical).
4- When one wants to take preventive measures such as premarital counseling.
5- When one is referred by someone (friend, colleague, family member, doctor) for their psychological diagnosis such as depression, anxiety or experience of panic attack.
6- When one seeks to gain relief from their symptoms (associated to mental health).
7- When there are unresolved issues from the past.
Although you may not be certain as to your reasons, the purpose of seeking treatment will be discussed during the intake, which is the initial session. Your goals along with the treatment plan will be discussed as well.
Ask yourself whether you’re content with yourself and life. If so, then therapy could be used to reach self-exploration. However, if you answer yes to the following questions, then consider therapy as a possible way to help you manage your day-to-day more smoothly.
Have you been stressing more than usual lately? How about feeling worried, or unhappy?
Are you destructive to yourself? Meaning, do you drink too much? Are you taking pain medication to ease the emotional pain? Do you find yourself eating too much or too little?
Have others been complaining about you lately?
Is your job suffering?
Are you lacking motivation? Energy?
Are you receiving complaints about your anger?
Therapy can also help you connect to meaningful solutions.
The length of therapy depends on the needs and goals of the client. When clients seek for therapy and are in crisis, the initial meetings are to help strengthen coping skills to return to a functioning level. This could take a few weeks or months, depending on the frequency of meetings, and the work being done by the client in between sessions.
When clients are no longer in a crisis state, then therapy could be ongoing. I like to look at therapy as a brief intermittent therapy throughout the lifespan. As needed, the client will seek treatment. If the purpose of therapy is to seek self-exploration, the duration of therapy could be longer than several months.
It is up to the client to talk about their primary concerns and life issues. If goals are set towards the end of the session, it is the client’s responsibility to work towards them in between sessions. The level of commitment by the client helps increase the likelihood of meeting set goals.
The benefit to using insurance is financial. If you have a low deductible, then once you meet it, you will only be responsible for the co-payments. This would only be the case however if there is a medical necessity, and that is what’s being treated.
There are a number of disadvantages to using insurance for your therapy.
1- The insurance is a third-payer party. Therefore, they have the right to your information. They will most likely need the diagnosis, and the dates of sessions therapy was received. Thus, your confidentiality can be compromised. When the insurance company receives a bill from the therapist, many people from the insurance company has access to this information.
2- If you decide to apply for another health plan, or life insurance, all medical records are requested, including your mental health records. There have been many cases of people either being denied of certain health plans because of a diagnosis on their records, or where their premiums increased drastically.
3- If you are summoned in a court proceeding, your medical records can also be subpoenaed.
4- There needs to be a medical necessity in order for most insurances to cover therapy. Without a diagnosis that’s considered a medical necessity, your insurance may not cover the therapy.