Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people seek therapy?
People pursue therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in life, while others seek opportunities for self-understanding and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and effective coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, low confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People who seek therapy demonstrate a willingness to take responsibility for their actions, work toward self-change, and create greater awareness in their lives.

What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions I will expect you to discuss the primary concerns and issues in your life. A typical session lasts 50 minutes, but can be longer, depending on your needs. Usually weekly sessions are best, but periods of crisis or extreme distress may call for more frequent meetings. During the time between sessions, it is beneficial to reflect on what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping a journal. For therapy to be effective, you must be an active participant, both in and outside of our therapy sessions.

How long will therapy take?
Many people enter therapy hoping to get quick relief from the distress they are experiencing. They are aware that therapy is costing a lot in terms of time, money, and energy and they want to see immediate results, especially when in a great deal of pain. It is important that you talk with me about your expectations and needs. Just like any relationship, the more aware and expressive you are about your needs, the more likely it is your needs will be met. Your presenting concerns and expectations, coupled with the goals we establish, help determine the length of the therapy process.

What if I don’t know what my goals are for therapy?
If you aren’t sure what your goals are for therapy, our first task is to figure that out. It may take a few sessions before a clear direction is clarified. Additionally, during the course of therapy, your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
A commitment to therapy carries many benefits. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands your situation. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the stress of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Potential benefits include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your values, and your personal goals.
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships.
  • Managing anger, anxiety, depression, and other emotional pressures in life.
  • Improving your self esteem and self-confidence.
  • Finding resolution to the concerns that brought you to therapy.
  • Improving communication skills – learning how to listen to others and be heard.
  • Breaking unproductive patterns and developing new, healthy behaviors and habits.

What are the risks of therapy?
Often therapy requires recalling and talking about unpleasant aspects of your history or your present situation, which can bring up uncomfortable feelings such as sadness, anger, fear, or shame. Although it may be necessary to talk about painful or embarrassing topics, the role of the therapist is to be nonjudgmental and understanding. I am here to help you work through those difficult or unpleasant feelings.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
My counseling services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. I am an “out-of-network provider” for most insurance purposes. Upon request, I will provide you with a statement that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. There is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • How much do I pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • Is there a limitation on how much the insurance will cover per session?
  • Is primary care physician approval required?

Is therapy confidential?
All sessions are confidential and information will be shared only with your written consent. There are a few situations, however, in which I am ethically and legally bound to break confidentiality. These are the following:

  • If I become aware of abuse, abandonment, neglect, or exploitation of a child, an elderly person, or a vulnerable/dependent adult; or any disclosure of prior unreported, violent crimes.
  • If I believe you are a danger to yourself or to others.
  • If I am served with a court order for your records, or I am subpoenaed to testify.

If any of these circumstances arise, I will inform you before breaking confidentiality and will disclose only the minimum amount of information necessary, in order to protect your privacy.

How is coaching different from psychotherapy?
Coaching and psychotherapy are separate and unique forms of help. Coaching is not diagnostically driven and cannot effectively or ethically be used to treat psychological issues or mental illness. It is not a substitute for psychotherapy. Coaching is a forward-focused, non-clinical approach that is more akin to a working partnership between the helping professional and the client. In my role as a professional coach, I use supportive, structured, and reflective techniques to help the client clarify and accomplish well-defined goals. Please note: I only provide coaching services to employers and targets of workplace bullying. Visit the Coaching Page to learn more about my coaching services.

In the Client’s Words…
“You’re a godsend, Jessi! I cannot tell you how good it feels to know you are there; to know you understand what I am going through. Your support has been invaluable and I am incredibly thankful for you.” — Adult Female Client
In the Client’s Words…
“This is a big thank you from the grandparents! I say this to you, along with my husband, you have given us hope that [our grandson] will one day be the terrific young man we know he can be. Many thanks again for all you have done for our family.” –Grandmother of 16 y.o. Male, Family Therapy Client