Common Questions

Below you will find answers to the most common questions we receive.

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • 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
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Do I need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life. While you may have successfully navigated through past difficulties, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when needed. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand. Recognizing that you need a helping hand is admirable. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life. Furthermore, making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support; giving you the tools you need:
  • To avoid triggers,
  • Re-direct damaging patterns, and
  • Overcome whatever challenges you face.

Coaching vs. Therapy: What Are the Differences and When Do You Refer?

Two of the most frequently asked questions are: “What is the difference between coaching and therapy?” and, “When do I refer a client for therapy?” There are many resources available to help answer these questions. Many articles on these topics exist in several coaching publications including Choice Magazine (www.choice-online.com), and the ICF has information about it on their website, at www.coachfederation.org.

Tears and emotion do not necessarily mean a person needs therapy; it merely means they have feelings. Feelings are a normal and healthy part of being human. As coaches, we bring awareness and curiosity to the emotions of our clients so that they can make better choices and move into action. We are present with our clients in the current expression of their emotions and bring curiosity to that place, whether it’s in our client’s magnificence or the challenging places of their inner and outer lives. As coaches, we don’t deal with the psychological antecedent to the emotion— that is the realm of therapy. If tearfulness, moodiness, and depression continue over time and do not end, then the coach should bring this to the attention of their client and together explore the need for therapy.

Discovering that there is something that should be addressed by therapy is a positive coaching outcome, and as coaches, we refer clients to therapy when needed. There are many possible scenarios in this situation— one is that the coach holds the client accountable to finding a therapist and completes the coaching. Another is that the coach, client, and therapist design an alliance whereby the coaching continues and the client works with a therapist at the same time. (Reference: The Coaches Training Institute.)

What is therapy and wellness coaching like?

Each person has different issues and goals in therapy and wellness coaching. Therefore, the process 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 session.

Depending on your specific needs, therapy and wellness coaching can be short-term, for a particular 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 sessions with your provider (usually weekly).

It is essential to understand that you will get more results from your services if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy and wellness coaching is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in sessions, your provider may suggest some things you can do outside of sessions 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 psychotherapy and/or wellness coaching are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?

It is well established that medication alone is not the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the associated pain. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

Call your insurance provider to determine if you have mental health coverage. Typically, only Therapy Services are covered by your insurance plan.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them:
  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the 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?

What type of therapies or modalities do you employ in your practice?

I use a variety of therapeutic and wellness coaching approaches. Some of these methods are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Solution-Focused approach, Narrative approach, Motivational Interviewing, Person-Centered Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, and Experiential modalities. Depending on the needs of the client, I create an individualized treatment plan and tailor my approach accordingly.

What other languages do you offer services in and what is your level of proficiency?

I am bilingual and also offer services in Spanish. Although I was raised here in the US, I speak fluent Spanish and am fully proficient in the language.

Does what we talk about in sessions remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and their therapist or coach. Successful treatment requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter. This subject matter is usually not discussed anywhere but the provider’s office or another secure platform.  Every provider should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone.  This process is called “Informed Consent.”  Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law, your therapist or coach 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 provider has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.