The less aware we are of our thoughts, feelings, motives and behaviors, the more they control us. Psychotherapy helps clients understand their “stories”; the experiences that shaped them, the defenses that have helped protect them and the patterns or habits that are now preventing them from living a satisfying life. Psychotherapy is a dialogue. The client presents data, the therapist offers ideas about it’s meaning, the client responds with his/her interpretation, and so on. It is important that psychotherapy progresses at a pace that is comfortable and safe for the client. Change can feel frightening or overwhelming, and may not occur quickly.
Self-help books contain generalizations, based on someone else’s story, or on a combination of stories. While self-help books play an important role in our culture, they don’t offer the flexible, individualized approach that is often needed to bring about lasting life changes. In addition, books do not offer the therapeutic relationship that can encourage us and hold us to a greater level of accountability.
Most people can tell after an initial session whether they feel comfortable with a therapist’s style. Please feel free to speak up if you do not feel comfortable with the therapist, it will not offend us whatsoever. We want you to feel that you can develop an alliance of trust with your therapist – that is when therapy works best. We want to help you get to the right therapist.
Many clients comment that they’ve been searching for a clinic like this – a place where they receive competent care and feel deeply connected to their therapist and to the clinic. We strongly believe that we do therapy very well at RTC, and that our expertise is not only a product of our training, but the result of spending years listening to what clients really want out of a therapist and a clinic.
Many people feel nervous before their first appointment, wondering what their therapist will ask, or what they should tell their therapist. Your therapist will primarily want to hear the reasons you made the appointment, what you have already done to try and solve the problem, and what you hope to accomplish in therapy. To better understand you, your therapist will likely want to know how things are going in the important parts of your life (relationships, work, school, etc.) as well as information about your background. If you and your therapist decide to continue working together, you will begin developing goals for therapy. If you do not feel comfortable with your therapist for any reason, please say so, and your therapist will be happy to provide you with a referral to another therapist.
Some people begin to feel better as soon as they make their appointment or at the time of their first session. There can be a sense of relief when you make the commitment to address an issue that is problematic. More often, however, people do not feel better immediately. Therapy is sometimes emotionally painful, because it involves an active effort to look at yourself and your life situations in a very deep and honest way, and to make some difficult changes. If the problems that bring you to therapy were easy to solve, you would have solved them without the guidance of a professional. Though the short-term distress of addressing problems and making changes may feel challenging, keep in mind that the potential long-term gains can feel well worth it. When therapy is successful, the positive gains in self-esteem, improved relationships and coping skills will far outweigh the distress of making changes.
We accept most insurances. You should contact your insurance company to see whether they will cover your costs and how much they will pay. While there may be certain advantages to accepting services only from a provider who is in your network, often the savings do not justify the loss of the ability to choose your provider. Many companies require the insured to call and pre-certify the first session. Our clinic also collects co-pays at each visit. Thus, it is always best to contact your insurance company before coming in for your first visit.
Although we take insurance if that makes sense for your situation, we have a number of clients who choose not to use insurance. Some clients have concerns about the degree of privacy that can be maintained once a claim makes it’s way to a huge managed care company. Others do not wish to be given the mental illness diagnosis that all providers must assign them if they are filing an insurance claim.
Yes, we accept credit cards.
Most of our therapists have evening hours. Be sure to state any scheduling requirements you may have up front so we can direct you to a therapist who can meet your needs.
Often, a person enters therapy with some specific goals in mind. One of the things you will do with your therapist is periodically review, clarify and, if desired, adjust your goals. When your goals are met to your satisfaction, you can decide to discontinue treatment, remain in treatment to make sure you maintain your progress, or set new goals. Remaining in therapy is always your choice.
There are many reasons why people do not want to come in for therapy; they may feel that therapy means they are weak and cannot solve their own problems, they may fear being harshly criticized or they may not wish to make changes. If you and your partner are able to discuss the reasons, it is a good idea to do so. Sometimes partners will come in for a first appointment if they understand that it is an assessment and does not commit them to continuing in treatment. Sometimes, speaking to the therapist over the phone can dispel fears about the appointment. Also, partners may feel more comfortable starting with individual therapy rather than couples therapy. Although any couples’ issues are best addressed with both people in the session, there are still benefits to coming in alone and exploring changes you can make which could positively impact your relationship.
Although our training is to treat you using sound therapeutic skills, there are times when a medication referral is warranted. If your therapist thinks that medication might be helpful, he/she will discuss a referral to a health professional who is trained in working with emotional and behavioral issues – most often, a psychiatrist. At other times, there may be medical issues your therapist believes should be addressed, since feeling good requires being physically as well as emotionally healthy. As with other aspects of treatment, whether or not you choose to accept your therapist’s recommendation is ultimately your decision.