Therapy is most effective when prospective patients are informed of and understand aspects of the process in advance. Below is some important information about my office and psychotherapy in general.
Psychotherapy has repeatedly been shown to be effective with most people, and with a variety of concerns and problems. Good psychotherapy can help people make lasting changes in their life that echo and impact the lives of those around them as well. You can be proud that you are taking steps to consider entering (or re-entering) this process.
Most therapy appointments last 50 minutes, although first sessions run c. 1 hour. Most therapeutic contact will be limited to our sessions, but at times, emergencies may arise, and I check my answering often during the day and each late evening and early morning. There are also instructions on my machine for how to proceed in an urgent situation.
If medication is or becomes part of your treatment options, I can collaborate with your physician to assist in that process. The same is true should potential medical problems arise, or if a medical evaluation is indicated. Either option will be done only with your authorized consent.
The most valuable psychotherapy asks for hard work on the part of the patient and psychologist. Honesty and a willingness to explore areas where you feel conflict or tension are most important and are best discussed as early as possible in therapy, as well as throughout its course. While I am an expert in understanding psychological problems, there are times when I do not anticipate concerns, questions or areas of dissatisfaction. It is valuable to discuss these issues with me, even though they may be uncomfortable or outside of normal social boundaries. This allows us to begin to understand how these issues affect your life and then work together to promote changes in your behavior, thoughts, and feelings.
Confidentiality and privacy are critical to good psychotherapy and are maintained absolutely. This means no one will have access to information about your or your therapy without your written consent. 2 exceptions to this policy exist for your protection, as mandated by law: 1) life-threatening situations (e.g. the threat of imminent, irreversible harm to yourself or others) and 2) mandated reporting of child abuse. In the unlikely event that these mandates should arise, I will discuss with you the plans for proceeding.
There is no set time for how long any psychotherapy must last. Some patients need one or a few sessions to address their concerns, while others stay in treatment much longer to work on core personality issues. Most patients find that within 3 – 6 months of meaningful at least weekly psychotherapy, their initial symptoms ease. Some choose to end therapy at that time, while many others opt to stay on to work on other issues. Therapy may end any time you wish — the only person you owe your therapy to is yourself. However, termination is an important part of the therapy process, since issues of separation, intimacy, and loss are important themes in all of our lives. Thus I hope you will discuss your decision to stop therapy when that time comes.
I request 48 hours advanced notice for all cancellations. Set appointment times are leased from my practice and fees for missed appointments or those canceled without sufficient notice are the responsibility of the patient. Such fees can not be billed to an insurance company
Fees and finances are an important issue in therapy and life and often will be discussed in therapy. At times, people’s financial circumstances change and adjustments to your fee can be made if needed, so as to not interrupt the flow of our important work.