What can I expect at the first session?
Generally, I will take background information and gather information about the problem. There will also be a small amount of paperwork, some of which can be completed prior to the session. Please see the Forms section of this site for that paperwork.
How long do sessions last?
Expect to spend 50 to 60 minutes.
How often will we meet?
Therapy works best when weekly sessions are kept. There is a momentum that is disrupted when there is too much time between sessions. I understand that weekly sessions may not be possible and I am willing to work with you to find out what works best.
How many sessions does it take to be finished?
The answer to this question would depend upon the nature of the problem and your own goals for therapy. I have seen progress in as little as four sessions for some clients who wanted to work on something specific however for those interested in deeper change, the work takes much longer. They may experience a benefit sooner, and also want something more from therapy. For some, their lives are much more complicated, requiring more support through multiple transitions. I often check in to see how you think this is going and when it feels right to end treatment.
How can therapy help me?
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 communication 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
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?
I currently am an in-network provider with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of IL, Cigna and Aetna.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team, but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
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.