enter therapy for different reasons. Some are suffering
from anxiety, depression, a sudden loss or other traumatic
event. Some can't seem to get what they want out of life
— their relationships aren't working, they're unsatisfied
with their careers, or a pattern of self-defeating behavior
is keeping them from reaching their full potential.
suffer from addiction to alcohol, drugs, food or other
substances. Some have an important decision to make and
they want help in considering it. Couples come to sort
out relationships. Families come when the behavior of one
or more members is threatening the cohesiveness of the
to research by Consumer Reports, and reported by the American Psychological Association, most patients
benefit substantially from psychotherapy.
long does therapy take?
depends on the severity of the issues, as well as the needs
and goals of the patient. If the goal is relief of symptoms
and a return to previous functioning, short-term therapy
may be sufficient. If the goal is treatment of more severe
symptoms, or improvement in well-being and overall quality
of life, longer-term therapy is indicated. In practice, therapy
ends either when there is substantial improvement or when
the patient is dissatisfied and decides to leave.
is important to success in therapy?
important is that there be a relationship of trust and respect
between patient and therapist. In addition, research indicates
that patients who play an active role in their treatment
are most likely to benefit. This means doing any "homework" that
may be assigned by the therapist, showing up regularly and
on time for appointments, and speaking frankly to the therapist
about any negative feelings the patient may have about the
therapist or the treatment.
do you choose a therapist?
best reason to choose a therapist is because you feel comfortable
with him or her, and feel you can work together productively.
Prior to making that decision, there is some groundwork
to be done. It is always good to begin with a referral
from a trusted source. You will also want to ask prospective
therapists about their training and qualifications. And
you may want to interview a few therapists before you make
a final decision.
do I know if a therapist isn't for me?
you don't feel comfortable with a therapist, he or she isn't
for you, even if good for someone else. Beware of therapists
who set themselves up as "gurus" or who suggest
that they have special healing powers. Also beware of therapists
who respond angrily, or dismissively, when you criticize
them or question their approach. And don't even think of
seeing therapists who won't discuss their training or credentials
I use my insurance to get therapy or will I get better treatment
if I pay for it myself?
is nothing wrong with using your insurance to pay for treatment,
but it is important to know that the treatment will have
certain limitations. Insurance companies prefer that therapists
provide short-term treatment that relieves symptoms and returns
patients to their previous level of functioning. They usually
will not pay for treatment designed to enhance self-understanding,
improve well-being and raise the overall quality of life.
In addition, patients are asked to sign a release allowing
the therapist to discuss the patient's issues with the insurance
company. Treatment paid for by insurance is therefore less