Mental Health FAQs

These are answers to your frequently asked questions to provide a better understanding of how we work

MentalPress

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.

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. In fact, therapy is 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're at 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.

What is the difference between Therapy and Life Coaching?

Therapy focuses on processing past and present emotional and behavioral issues intruding and having a negative effect on daily living. In therapy clients are interested in relieving symptoms of psychological and emotional pain which are creating difficulties in their lives.
Coaching focuses on assisting clients who feel they are doing emotionally well yet would like to expand their lives, their businesses, and their general outlook. They tend to be successful people who have a desire to go beyond where they are and they see a benefit in having support and guidance to achieve their goals.

What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, 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.  Depending on your specific needs, 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 sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

At this time I accept Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (PPO, Indemnity), CIGNA, Aetna and Medicaid behavioral health insurance and out-of-network benefits may be covered by your insurance carrier. To determine what your out-of-network coverage is for behavioral health or mental health, the first thing you should do is call your insurance carrier.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them:
  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

 

What is Life Coaching and how does it help?

Coaching is not therapy. Coaching begins where therapy leaves off. Where therapy focuses on the past and present, coaching focuses on the present and the future. It is an ongoing relationship, which leads you to discover what you want in life. Life coaching is about helping you focus on generating your own answers and taking actions to reach your goals, while keeping you accountable. Coaches assist clients to establish goals for all aspects of their lives and they work with the clients to develop multiple strategies to support them in achieving the goals. Through coaching clients are able to accelerate the process of reaching their goals.

 

 

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists 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 counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns and marriage issues. 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 of the benefits available from therapy include:
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is 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 some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?  

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.

Does what we talk about in therapy and coaching remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist/coach. Successful therapy/coaching requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's or coach's office.   Every therapist/coach should provide 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”.  Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist or coach to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist or coach cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists and coaches to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist or coach has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.