Is therapy actually effective?
Yes! The research has supported this time and time again.
--The general or average effects of psychotherapy are widely accepted to be significant and large, (Chorpita et al., 2011; Smith, Glass, & Miller, 1980; Wampold, 2001). These large effects of psychotherapy are quite constant across most diagnostic conditions, with variations being more influenced by general severity than by particular diagnoses—That is, variations in outcome are more heavily influenced by patient characteristics e.g., chronicity, complexity, social support, and intensity—and by clinician and context factors than by particular diagnoses or specific treatment "brands" (Beutler, 2009; Beutler & Malik, 2002a, 2002b; Malik & Beutler, 2002; Wampold, 2001);
--The results of psychotherapy tend to last longer and be less likely to require additional treatment courses than psychopharmacological treatments. For example, in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders, psychotherapy clients/patients acquire a variety of skills that are used after the treatment termination and generally may continue to improve after the termination of treatment (Hollon, Stewart, & Strunk, 2006; Shedler, 2010);
--Generally, studies show what experts in the field consider large beneficial effects for psychotherapy in comparison to no treatment, confirming the efficacy of psychotherapy across diverse conditions and settings (Beutler, 2009; Beutler, et al., 2003; Lambert & Ogles, 2004; McMain & Pos, 2007; Shedler, 2010; Thomas & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2007; Verheul & Herbrink, 2007; Wampold, 2001).
So, in short, not only do you see improvement in symptoms and problems, but many see continued improvement even after therapy has been completed.
What about confidentiality?
My license requires that I keep all information shared in therapy confidential. Information is only shared when permission is given in advance in writing. Only under special circumstances would information be shared including a subpoena by a judge or threat of danger to one's self or others. You can always give permission for me to speak with anyone you think would be helpful to meeting your goals, i.e. school teacher, doctor, psychiatrist, etc.
What if I don't want to continue?
Therapy is a collaborative effort. If at any time, you decide it isn't working for you or you need to stop therapy services, please let me know. Finding the right therapist can take time, and I want to make sure you find that right match.
How many sessions will I need and how often will we meet?
This is completely different for each person. Some issues are addressed in only a couple of sessions. Some require several months of work. We will discuss this during your initial evaluation, and I'll continue to assess the need and frequency as we meet each time. Most people are seen once/week at first and less frequently as problems improve.
Do you prescribe medication?
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and can not prescribe medication. This must be done by a Psychiatrist or ARNP or your family doctor. I would be happy to provide a referral if it seems medication would be helpful.