Frequently Asked Questions
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking behavioral health services can be a stressful endeavor. Therapy is an individual choice. Many people believe that seeking counseling or therapy means there is something wrong with them. Some people seek help with learning how to communicate with their spouse or kids, or may have problems with moving, a spouse coming home from deployment or behavioral issues they are having with their child. Other people might seek counseling to help in dealing with life's anxieties, sadness or anger, or grief. Therapy may be right for you in order to obtain support, gain insight into thoughts/feelings, and strategies for dealing with life's problems. Therapy is right for anyone who may want to make changes in their lives.
I should be able to handle this stuff myself. Isn't something wrong with me, if I need someone to help me with it?
First, "should" sets expectations, and at times, unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. Just because you could benefit from talking with someone objective about your problems, doesn't mean anything is wrong with you. Sometimes, we need someone who is not involved in the situation to help us put things into perspective, and to help us view our problems and/or concerns from different perspectives.
How can therapy help me?
Therapy can be beneficial by healing with problem solving, gaining insight or understanding, enhance coping strategies for a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, grief, relationships, body image concerns, and trauma. Therapy can help you manage your personal growth, help with reintegration or deployments, learn how to manage conflict with a family member, spouse or partner or even just daily hassles.
What is therapy like?
Each therapy session is unique, individualized to you in order to help you achieve your personal goal. It is customary to discus your primary goals, and potential treatment options to help you meet those goals, and limitations that may occur in helping you achieve your goals. Most therapy sessions are approximately 45 minutes to an hour. You can expect the therapist to ask you about history of your concern or the situation, then to explore current ways in which you are managing the concern, and gain the tools to make change.
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
For some issues, medication maybe helpful to aid in managing the symptoms of various mental health issues such as managing mood fluctuations, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, etc. In many situation which lead people to seek counseling, medication is not necessary with concerns being able to be managed through learning new ways to regulate how you express emotion, communicate those feelings and/or thoughts that have led to the problem you are experiencing, and to learn how to re-frame faulty or distorted thinking that can reinforce those feelings . In some cases, medication is helpful in supporting your therapeutic goals set with your therapist. In these cases, medications help stabilize moods, while you are learning the new techniques, skills, etc in therapy sessions. Regardless of why you are being prescribed medications, you should always feel comfortable asking your prescribing physician about any concerns, any changes in medications prescribed by other prescribing physicians, any additional symptoms you are experiencing, any potential side effects, and before stopping any medications being prescribed.