A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. A therapist can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapy can be a tremendous asset to managing such issues as 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 benefits of therapy include:
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. Therapy is designed for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
People have many different motivations for coming to therapy. 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, relationship problems, work related stressors and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get you through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. Those seeking therapy are ready to face the challenges and make changes in their lives.
Each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therefore, therapy will be different depending on the individual. You can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions with your therapist.
Please understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively engage in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your daily life. Your therapist may suggest some things you can do (homework) outside of therapy to support your process. Homework may include reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, making note of particular feelings or behaviors, or taking action on your goals.
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. In some cases, it may be necessary for your therapist to contact your medical doctor in order to facilitate dialogue about your treatment, medications or other factors which may impact your symptoms and/or diagnosis. Said medical professionals cannot be contacted without your written permission.
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matters that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement. You can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent." Sometimes you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Medical Doctor or Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
During your initial visit you can expect to discuss the presenting problem which ultimately led you to explore therapy. The therapy process, insurance limitations and confidentiality will be discussed in detail. Your initial visit is a time for you and your therapist to get to know one another and to determine if it is a good fit for what you are seeking. In getting to know you the therapist will ask that you provide very specific information including but not limited to your childhood, current / past relationships, social history and current situation. This can be an overwhelming process. Please be sure to share your feelings with your therapist.
View our informational courses to learn more about therapy and its benefits.