What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and is tailored to the needs and goals of each individual. Commonly sessions are 50 minutes in length, and are scheduled weekly. In a therapy session a person may talk about a personal matter in a safe and supportive environment, receive a fresh perspective on a difficult challenge, explore possible solutions to a problem, or learn new coping skills. Depending upon the goals that are set, clients may feel improvement in a few sessions, while others will use a longer period of time to address their concerns. My approach is to set mutually agreed upon, short-term, clear goals. We will periodically evaluate the progress towards those goals, and amend them as necessary. The work in the individual sessions may be enhanced by work that you do on your own, such as reading relevant material or keeping records to track certain behaviors.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Being able to trust that what is said in therapy will not be discussed anywhere else is a crucial element in successful therapy. There are legal and ethical mandates that require that confidentiality is maintained. There may be times, though, when you may want your therapist to share information about your work together, such as with an insurance company or another provider. In addition, there are situations in which a therapist is required, by law, to provide confidential information. These situations are:
- When there is suspected abuse of children or a vulnerable adult.
- If a client is in danger of harming themselves or another
- If a court orders disclosure of information
A therapist should provide you with an “informed consent” document that describes the services they provide and limitations on confidentiality.