Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
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.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. 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, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. 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
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
How about art therapy?
The sessions will be just like the previous question with the addition of art making and then processing the art making experience and the artwork. Depending on the needs and goals of each client, art making may be spontaneous or directives may be given by the art therapist. Once the art is complete, the client and art therapist will discuss the art to explore possible meanings of the images created. Further exploration and examination of the artwork as well as client thoughts, feelings, behavior, relationships, problems and goals will be used to aid in self exploration and to achieve each client’s goals.
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. 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.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
I do not participate in any insurance company panels. I will provide you with an invoice at the end of each session that you may submit to your insurance provider or health care reimbursement programs. You may want to check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- Do I have out-of-network benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
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:
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.
Do I need art training or be good at art to participate in art therapy?
No art experience is necessary for you. Your art therapist is highly trained in visual art as well as psychology, and he or she will guide you in the process of creating art using specific types of materials. All you need is a willingness to experiment and explore.
What kind of art will I make in art therapy?
It depends on your interests as well as the therapeutic benefits of certain types of art for your situation. Art therapy can include a wide range of art materials and processes. Your sessions could potentially include activities such as working with clay, painting, making a mask, creating a visual journal, and assembling a collage. Most often, the focus will be on the process rather than creating a finished art product.
Do I get to keep the artwork that I make in art therapy? Will the art therapist show it to anyone else?
Your artwork is your creation and always belongs to you. Some people choose to keep the finished artwork, while others may decide to leave it in the care of the art therapist. Your art therapist will not show your artwork to anyone without your permission. The code of ethics followed by art therapists specifies that an art therapist must safeguard a client’s art creations the same way he/she would protect any other privileged information.
Why are some art materials more appropriate for my situation than others? What does it mean to have an art therapist prescribe an art process for me?
Art materials have inherent healing qualities, but some are more appropriate for certain types of situations. For example, there is a therapeutic difference between using colored pencils, which are very dry and controlled, as opposed to watercolor paint, which is extremely wet and difficult to control. Your art therapist has specialized training in assessing which materials to suggest based on the issues you are facing, your frame of mind during the session, and other factors. Art therapists also have an extensive personal background in studio art, making them personally familiar with the use of specific types of art materials so that they can guide you through any difficulties that may arise in the creative process.
Will the art therapist “interpret” my artwork?
Art therapists can use a variety of approaches, just as counselors or psychotherapists may utilize different approaches. It is not customary for a therapist to interpret your art. In a humanistic or transpersonal approach to art therapy, the focus will be on the personal meaning that you find within your own creative work, rather than an arbitrary meaning imposed by the therapist. You are the expert on your own artwork and creative process, and the art therapist’s role is to facilitate explorations of your work rather than to analyze or interpret it.