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If you have any QUESTIONS that you do not see listed here or covered elsewhere on this website, please feel free to call us at (972) 886-0046 for a personal response.
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I can usually handle my problems myself. Do I really need psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a tool that you can use to get things done in your life-- things you would want done to improve the quality of your life. Like any tool, psychotherapy does not and cannot do the actual work itself. The work itself done in psychotherapy can only be done by you, and the credit for the outcome will be entirely yours to claim. Psychotherapy just may make it possible for you to do your work more efficiently -- more quickly, with less pain, and with more satisfactory and longer lasting outcomes.
Can psychotherapy help me?
Psychotherapy can help many but not all people. If, for example, you are going through a major life transition such as unemployment, divorce, a new job, or if you are not handling stressful circumstances well, or if you are suffering the effects of low self-esteem, depression, or anxiety, or if you are struggling with an addiction, or a relationship problem, psychotherapy could very well help you.
On the other hand, if you are unwilling to consent to or take responsibility for being in psychotherapy, or if you are unwilling to provide basic personal and medical information to your psychotherapist as may be necessary for your care, the likelihood that you will benefit from psychotherapy may be substantially reduced.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is often recommended even when people find medication useful in the management of their mental or emotional problems,. This is because of the interaction between body chemistry and psychological, situational, and interpersonal variables. Generally speaking, when medication and psychotherapy are used together to address a problem, the prescribing physician and the treating psychologist will work together to build an integrated treatment plan.
What will my psychotherapy be like?
Normally, sessions will be 50 minutes in length, and spaced one week apart.
Your initial session will involve an evaluation of your goals and a discussion about how psychotherapy might help you to achieve them. Towards the end of the initial interview your therapist will offer some impressions of what your treatment might involve, and you will make a decision about whether or not you feel comfortable continuing your work with your therapist.
If at this, or any other time, you would prefer to be referred elsewhere, your therapist will be happy to assist you in finding an alternative resource.
If you decide to continue with your therapist, starting with your first session and throughout your contact with your therapist, your therapist may assign you some homework designed to accelerate your progress.
Your second through your fourth session will involve discussions between you and your therapist regarding your progress towards goals you discussed in your first session. You should expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your goals, and any progress or challenges encountered since your previous session.
At your fifth session, if you have achieved your goals, you and your therapist will discuss the merits of terminating your therapy altogether, or, if you have not achieved your goals, or you wish to address other issues, you and your therapist will discuss the merits of continuing with them or an alternative resource. Your therapist may also suggest alternative resources any time they feel this may be to your advantage.
What if I have uncomfortable feelings during my sessions?
Because the process of psychotherapy often requires discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may also experience uncomfortable feelings including sadness, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, and anger. Should you experience uncomfortable feelings while you are in therapy, please let your therapist know this directly so that your therapist may help you utilize the experience to your advantage.
If despite your therapist's best efforts and yours things do not seem to be going where you want them to go, it will be important to bring this to your therapist's attention so that you may consider alternative treatment options.
What if I need or want a referral?
While your therapist will be happy to refer you to alternative resources at any time upon your request, your therapist may also refer you to one or more alternative resources whenever they think it may be to your advantage.
Your therapist might, for example, refer you if they think it would be to your advantage to receive more specialized services than we offer such as psychological testing, a medication consult, or biofeedback training. Similarly, your therapist might refer you to mental health agencies offering more structured care than we can provide such as a psychiatric hospital, or a day care program. In some cases, your therapist might also refer you to community resources such as Alcoholics Anonymous or a women's shelter that are uniquely designed to serve people with specific needs. And, your therapist might also refer you if you need longer term or more intensive care, than their schedule will allow.
Such referrals may be utilized "in addition to" or "instead of" the psychotherapy you are receiving from us.
Sometimes it's good to do the right thing even when no one is looking.