Common Questions


DR JEAN  provides a fresh and insightful perspective on difficult problems and helps to discover new solutions.

How can counseling and therapy help me? 
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy.   My goal is to help you resolve problems and provide more effective ways of coping that are clearly defined and workable.  Expect to see progress very soon into the process by developing deeper insight, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues that you bring to the work.  Depression, anxiety, stress, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, weight loss and management, body image issues, and alcohol and drug abuse will be dealt with compassionately. 

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Resolving early childhood abuse and trauma
  • 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
  • Standing up for yourself to create healthy boundaries
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family, marriage, and with your kids
  • Improving self-esteem and developing more self-confidence

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems on my own.  
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you might have successfully navigated through other difficulties you have faced, there is nothing wrong with seeking out extra support and guidance when you need it.
In fact, therapy is for those who have enough self-awareness to realize they need more direction and insight to face what is troubling them.
Taking responsibility for your life by making a commitment to changing the situation is to be admired. The goal of therapy is to provide long-lasting benefits, giving you the tools and new skills to deal with triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.  Some might be going through major life transitions such as unemployment and divorce, or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as unresolved trauma, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship and children problems.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.  In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and make necessary changes

What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions.

The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn from the therapy process back into your life. Therapy is where we look at what is going wrong and together learn to make the conflicted areas of your life better. Beyond the work in the sessions, suggestions might be made to do some things outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.  People seeking therapy want to make positive changes in their lives and are open to feedback towards achieving new ways of handling difficulties.   
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?  
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 your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You will best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. If needed, I will help you work with a psychiatrist to determine if medication will be a useful addition to your therapy. In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the most beneficial course of action. 
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you need to do is call the number on your insurance card.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand all the answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the co-pay and coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician? 

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office.  I will provide a written copy of a confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone.  This is called “Informed Consent."  Sometimes, however, you might want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team ( your physician, attorney), but by law I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.

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