Frequently Asked Questions
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, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous assets 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 of concerns that lead you to seek therapy.
Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional issues.
Improving communication 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 really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and 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 demanding patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and are ready to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy 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 issues, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from previous therapy sessions. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific 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 therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy 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 are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What is Telehealth therapy?
Telehealth therapy is working with me, DeAnn Richter, LMFT, a licensed mental health therapist, on a device. You can use a device that has a camera, e.g. your computer (preferred), cell phone or tablet. We will meet virtually in real time on a video conferencing program that is HIPAA compliant [The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA; Pub. L. 104–191, 110 Stat. 1936, enacted August 21, 1996)].
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. 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 wellbeing with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor and/or psychiatrist, you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and a psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist 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 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, Psychiatrist, Attorney or Naturopath Physician), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics requires therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults over the age of 65 (elders), including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.