How will therapy help me?
Therapy is very helpful to most people. Therapy is a collaborative process between patient and therapist. Most people find the support and guidance of a therapist helps them to feel better and to be more able to effectively cope with their situation and to find solutions. How is talking to a therapist different than talking to friends or family? A professionally trained therapist is able to listen objectively and confidentially to your concerns. They are trained to listen in a very careful and specialized way and are often able to help you recognize patterns in your life that may have led to your current situation of concern and help you to change those patterns. A therapist is often able to challenge you, in a respectful way, to see how distorted perceptions or feelings from the past are affecting current relationships and situations, thereby allowing you to grow and changes so that those same distortions don’t continue to cause you problems. A therapist helps you make sure you have examined things from all the angles that are important to you.
Who goes to therapy?
People come to therapy to get help. The impetus for therapy is as unique and diverse as the individuals who seek it, but typically people come to find assistance they haven’t found in other areas of their life. Depending on the issue and type of therapy, this help may come in the form of support, information, guidance, self-knowledge and/or the space to learn and practice new tools.
What is your confidentiality agreement?
The work that we do together is confidential, legally in the category of “privileged communication”. The things that you choose to discuss with me are strictly private and protected by New York State Laws. Except under unusual circumstances discussed below, I will not share anything we talk about with others unless I have your written permission to do so.
Some things, by law, cannot be kept private; there might be a need to break confidentiality if you were in medical jeopardy, suicidal or dangerous to another person. There are laws concerning abuse of children and the elderly that require report to the proper officials. Although these exceptions seldom occur, it is important that you are aware of them. If it necessary to break confidentiality because of one of these reasons, I will release only information that is relevant to provide for your safety, the safety of others, or as is required by court mandate.
How long will I be in therapy?
The length and nature of psychotherapy varies from person to person, depending on a great number of factors. Psychotherapy can begin to have some effects within weeks and often have very good effects within months. How long you stay in therapy depends on how fast you get better. Sometimes one can stop talk therapy after just a few months — sometimes it’s best to stay with the therapy for longer periods of time. You and your therapist should decide that based on your symptoms and your progress.
What is the difference between a LCSW, PhD and MD?
LCSW: This stands for Licensed Clinical Social Worker. It is a master’s level license that is recognized throughout the United States. An LCSW-R is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker that has fulfilled the requirements of the insurance law for supervised experience providing psychotherapy.
Ph.D/Psy.D/Psychologist: This is a doctorate level license that is recognized throughout the United States. A Ph.D. is primarily a research degree that has a clinical focus. A Psy.D. stands for “doctor of psychology” and most people go on to practice clinical psychology.
MD/Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialized in mental health. This professional can prescribe medication as well as provide psychotherapy.