We’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked questions below. If you don’t see an answer to your question, please email us so that we can help!

How can counseling help me?

How can counseling help me?A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for such issues as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks.

Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset 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.

Of course, the benefits you receive from counseling completely depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits of therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals, and your values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications 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

What is therapy like?

What is therapy like?Because each person has different issues and goals, therapy will differ by individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history that is relevant to your issue, and report progress or any new insights gained from the previous counseling session. 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 incorporate into your life what you learn in sessions. Therefore, beyond the work you do in counseling sessions, your therapist might suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process. This “homework” could include reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting behaviors, or taking action on your goals.

Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.

Do I really need therapy?Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and although you might 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’s something to be admired.

By seeking therapy, you are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, redirect damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

Why do people go to therapy, and how do I know if it is right for me?

Why do people go to therapy?People have many different motivations for seeking out a therapist. Some folks could 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, like low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts, and creative blocks.

Whatever the situation, therapists can help provide some much-needed encouragement and help with skills to get people 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 therapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and make positive changes.

Do our sessions—and what we talk about in them—remain confidential?

Do our sessions remain confidential?Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful counseling requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but in the counselor’s office. Every therapist should provide you with 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.”

In certain circumstances, you might want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team, such as your physician, naturopath, or attorney. By law, your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

  • Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protective Services and/or 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 themselves or has threatened to harm another person.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?

What about medication?Mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved long-term 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 well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor, you can determine what’s best for you. In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

Do you take insurance?Yes, we do take insurance! See our full list here. Each therapist at OptimalLife Wellness Center is preferred with at least two insurance companies. Please check with your insurance provider to see if your therapist of choice is preferred by your insurance. However, please do not let insurance coverage be your deciding factor for which therapist you choose to work with. It is most important that you feel safe and comfortable with your therapist. The details of payment can be negotiated from there.

To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call your provider. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?
  • For families and parents, ask your provider if you have Family Therapy benefits.