Is therapy right for me?

Entering therapy involves honest self-assessment and openness to addressing the personal and social challenges we face every day, often the same challenges we choose to hide from others and even ourselves. It requires trusting a therapist with self-disclosure and welcoming their reflections and feedback. Therapy is a deeply personal and often challenging process.

While the decision to enter therapy is unique for each individual, perhaps these questions will be useful for those considering a conversation with a therapist:

 

  • Do I feel like I am on the right track? Happiness varies moment-to-moment, but our sense of mental health and well-being is often linked to pursuit of a path that we find satisfying, meaningful and fulfilling. Professionally, personally— do I feel like I am working to create the life I want?

  • Do I recognize any stressors or challenges impacting multiple areas of my life? Life often throws obstacles and anxieties our way, and it can be hard to tell what we can handle and when we should consider leaning on others for support. When stressors begin to impact life more broadly, it may be a signal to consider therapy.

 

  • Am I looking for and open to change? If the answer is “no, I’m not,” the timing might not be right at the moment. Therapy cannot be nearly as effective without openness and a willingness to challenge one’s thoughts, biases, and preconceptions. But if you have been considering therapy and feel open to an honest dialogue with a therapist, you may find the process deeply rewarding and life changing.

I can usually handle my problems. Do I really need therapy?

We all go through ups and downs in life. While you may have successfully navigated many difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. Having enough self-awareness to realize when you need a helping hand is to be admired. By taking responsibility and accepting where you’re at in your life, you’re making a commitment to change the situation. Therapy can provide long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid or deal with triggers, redirect damaging patterns, and overcome the challenges you face.

What is therapy like?

 

It is unique and caters to you and your specific needs. Each session is essentially a problem-solving session. You describe your current situation, and your feelings about it, and then the therapist uses their expertise to assist you in trying to resolve that problem so you can move closer to having the life you wish to have.

 

At the beginning of a session, the therapist typically invites you to share what’s been going on in your life, what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you, or whether there are any goals you’d like to discuss. You’ll be invited to speak openly. The therapist will listen and may take notes as you speak. You won’t be criticized, interrupted or judged as you speak. Your conversation will be kept in strict confidence. This is a special, unique type of conversation in which you can say exactly what you feel—total honesty—without worrying that you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings, damage a relationship, or be penalized in any way. Anything you want—or need—to say is OK.

 

Some therapists (like myself) may give clients some “homework” to complete after a session. That homework might be to reach out to an acquaintance or friend to do an activity together, or to walk three times a week. It may be to spend some time each day make a nightly journal entry, or taking any number of “steps” and “challenges” relevant to your goals. During your next session, you might share your progress and address any areas where you got frustrated, stuck, or off-track.​

How will therapy help me?

 

Several benefits can come from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills and healthy coping strategies for many issues. Many people find that therapists can be very helpful in promoting personal growth and managing interpersonal relationships, family concerns, workplace issues and the hassles of daily living. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on difficult problems or point you in the direction of a solution or a path to take.

 

The help you get from therapy depends on how much you invest in the process and practice what you learn. Some of the benefits can include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your values, beliefs and goals.

  • 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

  • Better management of powerful emotions such as anger, grief and depression

  • Improving communication and listening skills

  • Changing old behaviour patterns and developing new, healthier ones

  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in all aspects of your life

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence.​

Is therapy confidential?

 

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.

  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.

  • If a client intends to harm themselves. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual is not able to guarantee this, additional measures may need to be taken.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

 

Many insurance companies cover therapy services under Extended Health Benefits. Check with your insurance company to see if you have coverage for therapy. Then ask:

  • Does my plan cover Social Work?

  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?

  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?

  • Is there a deduction or co-pay amount?

  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

 

I don’t offer direct billing to insurance companies. 

I do offer direct billing to FNIHB. 

Sandy Beach