Is therapy confidential?
Yes, therapy is confidential. By my ethical code and by law, I am not allowed to disclose information about you to others, without your consent. However, you may want me to discuss your treatment with other people, such as other doctors and professionals or family members. In this situation, I will get your written approval first, and we will discuss exactly what information you want me to share, and with whom.
Although therapy is confidential, there are some rare instances where I would be required by law to break confidentiality. The first is if I suspect abuse of a child, dependent adult, or an elder. I would be required to report this type of situation to the appropriate authorities. The second situation concerns a client who is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. Here I would have to notify the police and inform the intended victim. Lastly, if the client intends to commit bodily self-harm, and will not cooperate to ensure safety, then I may have to take further measures without permission in order to ensure safety. All three of these situations are rare, but if one were to occur, I would work closely with the client to explain all the steps that I would be required to take, and would only disclose what is legally necessary.
What can I expect in therapy?
The first and possibly second and third sessions are considered the intake session(s). Here I will be asking a list of questions to better understand your background, your presenting concerns, and your treatment goals. Once we have established your goals, I will discuss with you a treatment plan and we will begin to work toward achieving your goals. During the course of our work together, a client’s goals may change as new insights are gained, or as new developments occur in one’s life. Therefore, together we will adjust the goals of therapy as needed.
How long and how frequent are sessions?
A therapy session is typically 50-60 minutes long, although a longer session may be scheduled depending on the situation. Sessions are typically once a week, especially in the beginning of treatment. However, some clients benefit from more frequent sessions, and others, especially after being in therapy for a period of time, may decide to come less frequently.
How long will therapy take?
The length of therapy varies from person to person. One person may only need and want to be in therapy for a short time to address a specific concern or to gain support in meeting a specific goal. Another client, however, may benefit from long-term treatment, and need the ongoing support that therapy provides. Yet another client may find that after significant progress has been made in dealing with a problem area, less frequent appointments are scheduled to provide a check-in and to help maintain the progress already achieved. I sometimes like to compare counseling therapy to other types of treatments, such as physical therapy or chiropractic treatment. In these types of treatments, one client will benefit from a short course of therapy that addresses a specific injury or pain, while another will undergo long-term treatment in order to prevent pain and maintain a healthy life.