Things to Know About Therapy

 
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Millions of Americans see a therapist every year, a number that continues to grow as access and attitudes toward mental health change for the better. However, many more people have yet to experience the benefits of therapy for themselves. Starting therapy can be confusing, intimidating and full of the unknown.

Here’s what you should expect:

Therapy is for everyone

Therapy doesn’t need to be a last resort. In fact, therapy can be proactive and preventative. Many people find therapy to be helpful in building skills that can help them navigate through difficult times in the future. Therapy isn’t just for people who are ‘sick’. Everyone can benefit from talking to an unbiased professional who is completely focused on your wellbeing.

Therapy can be affordable

There is a common misconception that therapy is an unaffordable luxury. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Health insurance is required by law to cover talk therapy, which means that the cost of therapy can be the same as a normal visit to a doctor’s office: a ~$20 copay, depending on the plan. While finding therapists who take your insurance can seem difficult, since many therapists who accept insurance don’t advertise, we can help you find the perfect in-network therapist.

Therapy is confidential

Many people are worried that if they go to therapy their employers or family and friends will find out. Therapy can be as discreet as you’d like it to be. There are strict privacy restrictions that protect the confidentiality of your health status and treatment history, even if your employer pays for your health insurance. Everything you tell your therapist is also confidential, with limited exceptions.

Therapy is your time

The classic image of therapy is of a client laying down on a couch talking about their childhood while the therapist nods and scribbles in their notebook. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are many different styles or approaches. Therapy can be interactive or passive, structured or open-ended, focused on the past or the present, comforting or challenging. When you see a therapist, the session is your time and you can decide how you want it to go. Oftentimes, people are surprised by what therapy is like — it’s not always like what they show in movies.

Therapy isn’t forever, unless you want it to be

Going to therapy doesn’t mean you have to be in therapy forever. Of course, some people find that seeing a therapist regularly is the right approach for them. However, therapy isn’t designed to last the rest of your life. It’s designed to teach you skills, help you explore aspects of your life and set you on a path towards sustained wellbeing. The number of sessions varies for each individual, and there is no right or wrong answer, but most people find that 10–15 sessions is enough to make significant progress.

 

Going to therapy can be scary, but it doesn’t need to be. Everyone can benefit from therapy and we want to help. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch and let us help. We’re here for you.

Don Wu