A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support and behavioral counseling like 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 therapists serve as a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and life stressors. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits one obtains from therapy depends on how well they use the process and put into practice what has been learned. Some of the benefits available from therapy and behavioral counseling include:
- Attaining a better understanding of self, including goals and values
- Developing skills for improving relationships
- Finding a resolution to the issues or concerns that led to seeking therapy
- Learning new stress management techniques and ways to cope with 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 within a family or marriage
- Improving self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
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 and counseling when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking behavioral counseling. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, providing you with the necessary tools to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome barriers.
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 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 in managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts, and creative blocks. Therapy and behavioral counseling can help provide some much-needed encouragement, insight and evidence-based strategies like grief counseling, conflict resolution, anger management, and more. 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. In short, people seeking therapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes.
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 through behavioral counseling. 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 and behavioral counseling 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 therapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives, and take responsibility for 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 and behavioral counseling address 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. In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
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:
- 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?
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
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 matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. Every therapist at Kato Counseling will 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 to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law, your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists 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 has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the process of therapy, please feel free to reach out to us at Kato Counseling.