Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent 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 himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
When problems arise, most people turn to family, friends or pastors. Often their advice is enough to help you deal with your struggles. However, there are times in life when you may need professional help. Counseling can be an effective means of gaining a new perspective, enabling you to confront life's challenges. 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.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. 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
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
What is "Christian" or Faith-based Counseling?
Christian or Faith-based counseling is the integration of psychological principles with sound Biblical theology. Jesus, the greatest therapist, met each individual where they were in their lives and helped that them gain a measure of wholeness. We meet you where you are at in your spiritual walk and utilize current counseling and psychotherapy techniques to evaluate issues and concerns. We integrate sound Christian theology, counseling theory and personal spirituality to address the whole person.
How do you approach Faith-based Counseling?
We are dedicated to helping clients discover harmonious and productive lives. We seek Christ-centered transformation and sound mental health for our clients. We assist individuals and their families to achieve loving relationships in a busy and stressful world, promoting church and professional resources to confront life’s challenges.
In the course of faith-based counseling we generally will not challenge matters of doctrine, especially issues particular to various sects or denominations. The only exceptions to this general rule might be in cases where the client's adherence to a doctrine or interpretation will result in direct physical harm of the client or of another. Other matters of psychological issues related to a clients' beliefs will be treated with care to avoid impugning the client's faith.
If you are interested in speaking to someone about faith-based counseling, please be sure to let the receptionist know when you call for an appointment.
Aren't Faith-based Counseling and Pastoral Counseling the same thing?
"Faith-based Counseling" is not the same as "Pastoral Counseling."
Faith-based Counseling involves counseling and psychotherapy which acknowledge that clients' spiritual beliefs and practices are integral parts of psychological health, and may call upon the client's own faith's wisdom in support. Our Christian Therapy Associates integrate professional counseling with applied psychology and sound practical theology.
Pastoral Counseling involves counseling of believers by someone they consider a spiritual authority in the practice of whatever truths, wisdom, precepts and methods his or her faith allows, suggests or mandates. Among Christians this usually involves Bible study, theological training and doctrinal teaching.
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. 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.