Q: How much is this going to cost?
A: This question is the top on the list of questions people ask when considering therapy. In reality, it shouldn’t be. There are three far better ones.
- Is my therapist licensed and competent to help me solve my problem?A licensed therapist in Washington State (LMFT, LPC, LSCW), has undergone 8 years of schooling to be able to practice therapy ethically and competently. They are require to amass 3000 hours of supervised experience in addition to passing a national exam. Life coaches do not. Nor are they trained in ethical and appropriate relationship boundaries between themselves and their clients. In essence, anyone can put out a shingle and say they are a life coach, only people that have undergone extensive training can call themselves psychotherapists. This doesn’t mean that all therapists are good
therapists which brings me to number 2.
- Is my therapist a good fit?By good fit, I mean does the therapist have the qualities, personality, and demeanor that are most beneficial in helping you solve your problem. Perhaps you have read entries things from their blog and find their stories compelling or relevant to your life. Maybe you have had a free initial consultation and found them to be knowledgeable on your particular problem issue. By solidifying a good fit, you increase the chances that therapy will be successful for you.
- Can I really not afford therapy, or am I afraid that it won’t work?I am absolutely confident that I can help you with your problem. However, I cannot guarantee that I will. This is because therapy is a two way street. What I bring to the table is knowledge, skills, and expertise in helping solve all kinds of human issues. My services are ethical, competent, and confidential, but I need my client to have buy-in and be invested in solving the issue. I can not guarantee that you will follow-through on suggestions or even tell me the truth all the time. I can say that if we both bring 100% of our 50% of the interaction, the chances of success are extremely high.
Q: Why don’t you take insurance?
Because I Value Your Privacy
Taking insurance would be a direct contradiction to my oath to provide you with confidential services. Working for someone who did take insurance, I learned that at least 5 to 10 people are able to review your session notes at any time to ensure that services being provided are covered by your insurance. To me, this is an egregious violation of your right to privacy and a violation of confidentiality on which the cornerstone of therapy is built.
The Cost of Not Doing Therapy
When you think about the cost of therapy, I want you to consider this. As humans, we pay for what we value. Think of the last purchase that made you feel good for maybe a week or a month, but eventually lost its allure. Maybe it was a new handbag, golf clubs, a videogame or maybe even a car. What these items all have in common is that they are tangible. You can hold them in your hand. When was the last time you bought happiness or relief of suffering? I am willing to bet anytime you felt those emotions and money was exchanged it was because you bought a product, not a service. Even if you did not have an emotional response, you still had an exchange of money for something you could hold. Therapy and coaching is an intangible. It is not something that you can hold in your hand. You cannot pay my fee and receive something physical in return. This can lead to the mistaken assumption that therapy and coaching is not valuable, but it is as valuable as the feeling you get when you find yourself relaxed and not worrying for the first time in a long while. Think of your problem. If I told you that if you gave me $1,000 I could make your problem go away or be significantly reduced in its intensity, would you pay me? Better yet, what are you paying now for not getting help with this problem?
Q: What is Therapy like?
A: The answer to that question is different for every individual. Each session I have is personalized to the needs of the person in front of me. You will also be given a unique “suggestion” which is based on the unique problem that you bring to therapy and is designed to interrupt the problem situation and lead you to a solution. However, the following are elements found throughout all of my therapy and coaching sessions.
Confidentiality – Anything discussed is protected on the same basis of confidentiality as exists between an attorney and client.
• Ethical practice which always focuses on the best interest of the client.
• Compassion, acceptance, and understanding
• A non-judgmental attitude and respect of your personal values and religious and and/or philosophical beliefs
• An objective perspective to help gain better insight into persistent negative behavioral patterns, thoughts, and feelings
• Effective and proven techniques and specific suggestions for bringing about positive changes.
Q: How long does therapy usually take?
A: Some people report feeling better about their problem after 1 session, with resolution in just 1 to 3 sessions. Other problems may take longer. Some individuals get what they need in the first session and have 30-minute booster sessions spread out over several months or weeks. I can report that clients report relief of the intensity of the problem after just 1 session and resolution averaging 1-5. Unlike traditional therapy, where the therapist is paid by insurance companies and has an “incentive” for therapy to take longer, in my practice I am paid directly by you and providing a quality service in a timely manner is my goal. Additionally, because you are paying out of pocket, there is “buy in” which greatly boosts the chances of success because you are personally invested in the outcome.
Q: I have a relationship problem; will you see me and my significant other?
A: Yes. In fact, research shows that when it comes to relationship issues, it is better to see both partners at the same time. If not, the partner that tends to come to therapy has a better view of himself and a negative view of the relationship. We can meet individual for a few sessions, but the focus will always be to bring the other person into therapy. Also, I do not keep relationship secrets. If it is something you would rather your partner not know, please do not tell me, or tell me with the understanding that it will need to be addressed when conjoint sessions begin.
Q: Is this confidential?
A: Yes, you can expect that same level of confidentiality that you would have with an attorney. However, there are three cases where I must break confidentiality. That is in cases of child abuse, elder abuse, or abuse of a dependent or disabled adult or if you are planning to harm yourself or someone else.
Q: How do you keep track of time?
A: The teletherapy system we will use keeps track of time automatically. In the case of the initial 1-hour session, time will be spent gathering information, and understanding the nature of the problem. At the 45-minute mark I will alert you that time is drawing to a close. The last 15 minutes will be spent on interventions and suggestions for solving or lessening the intensity of the problem. Sessions will never abruptly end without us discussing it.