There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. - Maya Angelou
What?? ... Where?? ... How?? ... When?? ....
Often, it is the questions that we may have that keep us from ultimately pursuing a new activity. Therapy can be very overwhelming and unknown. But I encourage you to ask the questions and pursue your healing journey. It can be one of the best things that you do for yourself.
1. What If I Had Bad Experiences in the Past, Will You Be Different
That is for you to decide. I believe that one of the most important aspects of your therapy process is that you find a therapist that you truly feel connected with. This is someone that you are sharing the most intimate details of your life with, so it is important that you feel they are trustworthy, right? If you do not feel like you can trust your therapist or connect with them, your process may not go as well as you hoped. The relationship that exists between the therapist and client is so important. Therapy is about being collaborative and working together to help you meet your needs. Not all therapists are meant to work with everyone. I know that based on my style and the way that I go about the therapeutic process, I am not going to be the right fit for everyone, and that is okay. Sometimes it takes a few therapists to find the right one. Be willing to advocate for yourself in finding the right one for YOU.
2. I Do Not Want ANYONE to Know That I Am in Therapy, if They Contact You, Will You Tell Them?
Please feel assured of a couple of things. 1. I value confidentiality and it is not something that I take lightly. If anyone, including a doctor, spouse, parent, friend, etc. calls to find out if I am seeing you or find out more about what you are sharing, I cannot confirm to anyone that you are my client, nor will I share ANYTHING about YOUR process. There is actually a specific form called a Release of Information" (ROI) that should be signed by you, giving permission to speak with anyone. If that form is not signed, I cannot speak to anyone about you. This is completely confidential.2. I absolutely will not share information that you have shared with me in session. However, I do want you to know that there are some situations in which I do not have a choice and I would have to report. As a Therapist, I am a mandated reported, which essentially means that if I am told about child or elder abuse, if I find out that you desire to harm yourself or someone else, or if I am required to by a judge. Ultimately, it is my job to help keep you and others safe. Therefore, the only breach of confidentiality comes with a safety issue.
3. Are You Sure You Can Help ME?
I absolutely want to support you throughout this process. However, it is not my job to "fix you". My job throughout this process is to come along side you and help support you through this process, but I do not deserve the right in your life to tell you that there is something wrong with you, to be fixed. This process is yours to own and take charge of. I can provide you the tools necessary to help your situation, but it is ultimately you who decides if you want to implement those tools into your life. Forcing you to do something that you have no desire to do and judging you if you do not is not going to be helpful to you. Therefore, my role is mostly of support.
4. Do I Get a Say in My Therapy Process?
Absolutely! As I mentioned above, I am a total advocate of this being YOUR process. I will suggest what I think would be best for you, based on what you share with me, but ultimately, you get to decide what this process looks like for you. If you do not like something or do not feel like it is helping, lets have a conversation around your hesitations and decide from there what you think would work best for you! I think it is sometimes a struggle to feel that you can speak for yourself and disagree with someone else. However, it is so important that YOU are your own advocate throughout this process. The only way for your therapist to know if something isn't working for you is for you to share that with them.
5. How Do I Get Started?
Call a few Therapists and see who best fits your needs and what you are looking for. Feel free to interview them through a phone consultation or by setting up an appointment. Ask them what their payment options are and figure out which therapist you can best afford. There are a range of prices that Therapists have. There are some that do sliding scales and are willing to charge less based on your income. There are also options to use your HSA or insurance. Some therapists do not accept insurance and therefore would be "out of network". Some insurance companies will ask you to get a Superbill from your Therapist and you submit it to your insurance company for reimbursement. You have to pay the therapist up front for the therapy, but if approved by insurance, you can hopefully get reimbursement. If you have been through the court process as a victim, you may want to consider looking into Victim's Compensation. They will grant a certain amount of sessions and you can get those covered. Also, many therapists accept cash, check, and credit card as payment.
If you feel like I didn't answer a question that you have, feel free to comment below or send me a message using the contact form below!!