A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. 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
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.
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. 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 managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. 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. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
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 particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 – or HIPAA – is a federal law that applies to healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses that conduct transactions electronically. HIPAA also applies to vendors – business associates – that perform functions on behalf of HIPAA-covered entities that requires them to have access to protected health information (PHI) or be provided with copies of PHI.
There are four key aspects of HIPAA that make it important for patients: Privacy of health information, security of health data, notification of breaches of medical records, and the right to obtain copies of healthcare data.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule restricts the individuals who can view healthcare data and who healthcare data can be shared with without first obtaining permission from patients. Access to health data is restricted to healthcare employees who need to view health and personal information in order to provide healthcare services and perform any administration duties.
Healthcare organizations can only share PHI with business associates that perform for healthcare operations services on behalf of a covered entity that require access to PHI: Transcription service providers, payment processors, or mailing vendors for example. In such cases, those business associates must agree to keep data secure and the same rules apply for access and disclosures of PHI to other individuals or companies. Any PHI provided must be limited to the minimum necessary amount to perform the specific services the business associate is contracted to perform.
Permission must be obtained from clients before their PHI can be shared with companies for other reasons, including research and marketing.
The Privacy Rule also allows clients to designate who is permitted to obtain their health data on behalf of client – friends, family, or caregivers for instance.
HIPAA requires healthcare organizations to implement safeguards to ensure any health data created, stored, maintained, or transmitted is always kept secure. Those controls include administrative measures, physical security for paper records and electronic devices that store health data, and technical controls such as encryption, anti-virus software, and firewalls. Healthcare employees must also be trained how to recognize threats such as phishing emails and other email and web-based threats. These measures ensure that hackers and other cybercriminals cannot gain access to clients’ health information.
While HIPAA protects client privacy by placing restrictions on who can access health data and healthcare organizations are required to implement security controls to keep PHI secure, privacy and security breaches may still likely to occur.
HIPAA requires healthcare organizations and their business associates to issue notifications to clients when health data is compromised or stolen. This allows breach victims to take action to protect their identities and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud. HIPAA requires notifications to be issued within 60 days of a breach being discovered.
HIPAA gives clients the right to obtain copies of the health information created or held by healthcare organizations. By obtaining copies of heath data, clients can take a much more active role in their own healthcare. While in theory, one healthcare provider should be able to send health data to another provider that is also treating the same client, there are still some issues that prevent all health data from being transferred.
By obtaining copies of health information, clients can easily share that information with any healthcare organizations, including research organizations to help in studies that benefit the population as a whole.
One other important reason for obtaining copies of health data is to check health records for errors. If a mistake is made recording health data, it could have an impact on decisions about the best treatment for clients. It is therefore important for clients to check their medical records for errors and to correct any mistakes.
Initial Session -
Initial sessions are typically scheduled for 45-55 minutes. Prior to this appointment, I will ask you to complete some paperwork. This session will include a discussion of confidentiality, my practice policies, and answering any questions you may have. I will also focus on gathering pertinent background information, including some medical, mental health, and family history. We will discuss your reasons for seeking therapy and develop treatment goals for our work together.
Continuing / On-Going Sessions (Individual and/or Couples) -
Individual and couples’ sessions are typically scheduled for 45-55 minutes. If clinically appropriate, we can discuss changing the length of sessions. These sessions will vary for each individual, depending on your individual treatment goals. They might include processing your experiences, exploring how you responded to these situations, and discussing new ways to perceive these events. Other times we might spend time discussing new coping strategies and reviewing how they worked for you between sessions.
Group Sessions -
Group sessions are typically scheduled for 60-90 minutes. Depending on the nature of the group and the issues being addressed, the group can either be a "Closed Group" meaning that after the 3rd session, no new members can join and Group members are expected to remain in the group until all sessions have been completed, or an "Open Group" meaning that clients are welcome to join at any time.
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.
No. I value my clients' rights to privacy and honor this by remaining out of network.
D.C. mandates 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 requires therapists to report 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 threatened to harm another person.