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Road to Brighter Days

Questions and Answers

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What should I do to prepare for our first appointment?  
Just take a deep breath and congratulate yourself for taking a step in the right direction.  To make the best use of our time together, please take time to fill out the paperwork on this site ahead of time which should include any list of questions you have, so we can address them during our initial session.  

What happens at our first appointment? 
We will meet and figure out if we are a good fit for each other which usually takes about an hour. We want to hear about your story.  I will ask you some questions such as, why you are seeking counseling and your goals to change. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. 
Lastly, we will conclude the session by discussing if you would like to work together, if so, how and when.  After our first appointment, we should have an understanding of the road you seek, therefore, addressing the areas that are most important to you.  

What’s special about your practice?
We are not your typical team.  We are friendly, warm, understanding, and engaging.  We are human, make mistakes, and definitely have a sense of humor.  We will explore what has and has not worked for you in the past.  The goal is to heal, grow, and seek brighter days.  

How can therapy help me?
Many benefits are available from participating in therapy.  Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for a variety of issues.  Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marital 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 depends on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. 

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.  
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life. 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 are 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. 

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 people need assistance managing a range of issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, and various management issues.  Therapy can help provide some much-needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  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.  
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 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. therapy?  
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. 
Will our therapy sessions be 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 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 to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Case worker, Attorney). 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.
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