Frequently asked questions
You Ask - I Answer
How can a psychologist really help me? If I can talk to a smart, compassionate friend, why would I pay for therapy?
Therapy is not for everyone and it is not for every problem. Certainly good advice can come from a number of sources, including friends and family members. There are problems that require scientific and clinical expertise. There are also issues that may require careful assessment to determine what the actual problem is. And finally there may be issues that are so private in nature, revealing them to someone in a personal capacity may not be an option yet. There may also be chronic problems or unfulfilled dreams that people have been trying unsuccessfully to help you with. That is when effective therapy with an expertise in the area may be appropriate.
Some therapies are supportive and non-directive in nature. Therapy practiced in this office is active and directive. Concrete goals are set, barriers are identified, and interventions target removing barriers or giving clients the tools to navigate around them so they can achieve goals and live a happier, more satisfying, and meaningful life.
Do you offer sliding scale rates?
I can sometimes negotiate a lower fee based upon income and financial need. You may discuss this with me, if it is a concern. If I am unable to accommodate your financial situation, I may be able to provide you with referrals.
How long does each therapy session take?
Individual therapy sessions are 45 minutes. Although there is a clear agenda and structure, there is still time to explore what is necessary to be sure that the client is really understood. Given the nature of emotional and behavioral problems, it is critical that the work doesn’t stop after 45 minutes. Assignments are given to be done in between sessions. Bad habits have typically been ingrained over years, and so the more practice that takes place outside of session, the sooner the problems can be resolved. In addition, often times the work required involves situations at work, home, and with people that are not going to be in the therapy session. So the sessions are 45 minutes, but we will use time outside of session to do the work as well.
What can I discuss in therapy?
Anything can be discussed in therapy. There is great flexibility about topics and existential questions can be the main focus for a particular client. With that said, we will be goal focused. If the goal is to come to a greater understanding or acceptance of existential issues, then we will spend the appropriate time on that. Without being overly rigid, we will navigate back to the goals and the agenda when we go off course. If something new comes up though, we will simply add it to the agenda in order to incorporate it into the longer-term goals.