Frequently Asked Questions
Is therapy right for me?
Everyone who considers therapy is looking for some help, guidance and support in some aspect of their lives. Participating in psychotherapy offers a number of benefits. It is helpful to have somebody to talk to who really understands you. Therapy gives a fresh perspective on difficult problems and provides direction towards a solution.
Most people who have had a positive psychotherapy experience will say that the benefits include:
- Increasing your sense of well-being.
- Improving your mental and emotional health
- Developing skills for improving your personal and group relationships (such as at work and in a family).
- Understand yourself and your personal goals and values better.
- Reducing or overcoming problematic thoughts, feelings, behaviors or circumstances.
- Identifying old patterns that don't work anymore.
- Obtaining a solution to the problems or concerns that made them seek therapy.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
What type of therapy do you practice?
I consider myself to be an integrative therapist. I interweave different therapeutic approaches based on the presenting problem. I offer sensitivity, intuition, sound theoretical and psycho-therapeutic understanding and a thorough knowledge of evidence-based practice (scientific research that has been proven to work with specific conditions/difficulties). The therapeutic approaches that are available to me within my integrative approach are as follows:
This approach describes a number of therapies that give central focus to the person's perception of their own reality, seeking understanding more than interpretation. These therapies include person-centred, transpersonal, gestalt and existential therapy. I place trust in my client’s innate wisdom and self-healing ability. I have a strong belief that you are the expert on your life as only you know how you feel and only you have had your experiences. I offer a relationship of safety and trust through which you can explore your issues and feelings, in order to arrive at self-acceptance and openness to your potential.
This approach looks at how childhood experiences might affect present relationships and life choices. As part of this, you will explore how you relate to me, as this is seen as a reflection of your significant early relationships. As you start to distinguish between past and present, you will move towards clearer relating, and a knowledge and understanding of yourself.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This approach explores how our thoughts, beliefs and ideas affect the way that we feel and act. Many emotional difficulties arise through beliefs and assumptions which are often based on past experiences. These beliefs may have been helpful at the time but are less relevant or helpful in the present. CBT aims to modify thoughts and behaviour in order to find more helpful ways of viewing a situation, which in turn, will provide a more positive emotional outcome.
Couples Therapy is useful for people wanting to explore any close relationship with another person, for instance a partner, family member, friend or colleague. I will not "take sides" or apportion blame, but will help to explore what might be helpful and what harmful within the dynamics of the relationship.
In group therapy approximately 6-10 individuals meet face-to-face with a trained group therapist. During the group meeting time, members decide what they want to talk about. Members are encouraged to give feedback to others. Feedback includes expressing your own feelings about what someone says or does. Interaction between group members are highly encouraged and provides each person with an opportunity to try out new ways of behaving; it also provides members with an opportunity for learning more about the way they interact with others. It is a safe environment in which members work to establish a level of trust that allows them to talk personally and honestly. Group members make a commitment to the group and are instructed that the content of the group sessions are confidential. It is not appropriate for group members to disclose events of the group to an outside person.
- When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they usually recreate those difficulties that brought them to group therapy in the the first place. Under the direction of the group therapist, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, and comfort members in such a way that these difficulties become resolved and alternative behaviors are learned.
- The group also allows a person to develop new ways of relating to people.
- During group therapy, people begin to see that they are not alone and that there is hope and help. It is comforting to hear that other people have a similar difficulty, or have already worked through a problem that deeply disturbs another group member.
- Another reason for the success of group therapy is that people feel free to care about each other because of the climate of trust in a group.
As the group members begin to feel more comfortable, you will be able to speak freely. The psychological safety of the group will allow the expression of those feelings which are often difficult to express outside of group.
Mindfulness Based Therapy
This approach refers to psychotherapy informed by the insights of mindfulness. This orientation is very helpful in therapy as it focuses awareness on what is happening in each moment without any effort to change the experience. Developing the capacity to just "be" with things as they are encourages an attitude of open, relaxed acceptance. A mindfulness approach reduces stress and relaxes habitual tensions by cultivating a capacity for calmness in the midst of inner or outer turmoil. It helps foster self-reflection, awareness and emotional equanimity as well as greater compassion for self and others.
Family Systems Based Therapy
In family systems therapy, participants are prompted to express the roles they portray in their normal family life, but must maintain the structure of the therapy, respect one another and stay within the predetermined boundaries. During family systems therapy, family members act out their roles in such a way that the therapist and other family members are able to see the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Once these are recognized, the members can work to understand how their actions affect each othe's roles and begin to adopt positive behaviors that benefit themselves and the family as a whole.
Child Custody Mediation
Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution available to parties undergoing separation or divorce. The primary method of dispute resolution is where participants work together with each other to decide between themselves what is best for them and their children. I use an integrative approach to facilitate this process.
I am an out of network provider for most PPO plans. Please call me to discuss your particular situation.
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