Q: How do I know when my child or teen should see a therapist?
Physical health changes are typically one of the first signs that things may be emotionally off-balance. For example, the physical symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression are often confused with other health-related concerns:
- Digestive issues such as nausea, heartburn, constipation, and stomach aches
- Body aches and pains including headaches, migraines and back pain
- Increased heart rate and rapid breathing
- Feeling weak or tired; fatigued
Next, you might notice significant changes in your child or teen’s behavior:
- Lack of motivation for school
- Excessive crying, fears or worries
- Trouble sleeping or having nightmares
- Loss of interest in friends or favorite activities
- Change in eating habits or weight (i.e., not eating or overeating)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Severe mood swings and irritability
- Above normal hyperactivity
- Extreme disobedience or aggressive behaviors
- Increase in risk-taking behaviors including use of drugs or alcohol
Q: What can be expected throughout the therapy process?
First and foremost, the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client is the most important part of therapy. Therapy is not a one-size fits all, and it is essential to find a therapist who you feel comfortable with and can trust. I have found that my most successful clients are the ones who are not only open to change but that have a strong sense of the therapeutic relationship. My role as a therapist is to support and guide my clients so that they feel empowered to make positive changes in their life.
During the very first session we will go over the basic paperwork including the consent for services and limitations of confidentiality. It may be helpful to come prepared to the first session with any lingering questions or reservations you have about the therapy process. Together, we will discuss your individual concerns and set goals so that you or your loved one is fully involved throughout the process.
Each individual session is 50 minutes in length. If needed, family sessions can be arranged for an additional fee. Therapy sessions are usually scheduled for once a week, however, depending on the individual client’s needs, sessions can be scheduled more or less frequently.
Q: How come you do not take insurance as payment for therapy services?
I believe that using insurance to cover the cost of therapy takes away some if not most of the client’s control throughout the process. Below are just a few of the benefits of using self-pay over insurance for therapy services:
- Insurance companies can regulate the length and frequency of therapy. This means you may only be able to see a therapist for a certain number of sessions whether you have reached your treatment goals or not.
- With self-pay, you are able to select a therapist who is the perfect fit for you or your loved one versus having to choose a therapist from a list of providers “in your network.”
- Insurance companies require sensitive information for billing purposes such as a mental health diagnosis which ultimately ends up in you or your child’s permanent health record.
- An insurance company may decide based on personal information such as your mental health diagnosis that you are not eligible for treatment.