Therapy FAQ

Are you ready to commit to psychotherapy? What does the process entail? How long is the process? Is psychotherapy beneficial? What about the confidentiality of the content discussed? Questions like these and many more can be anxiety provoking when deciding to engage in psychotherapy. You may be reluctant to try psychotherapy due to many misconceptions about the process. However, the choice to engage in psychotherapy is worth it! Here are answers to some common questions that may help you to understand the process of psychotherapy better.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment approach in which a psychologist engages with individuals to assist them cope with difficult problems or challenges in their life. A psychologist applies scientific techniques through which individuals learn coping skills to deal with their present challenges effectively, in addition individuals also learn life skills to better cope with any future problems. The main purpose of psychotherapy is to assist individuals lead a happier, healthier, and fulfilling life.

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Who can benefit from psychotherapy?

People all ages and background can benefit from psychotherapy. Psychotherapy assists individuals gain greater self awareness and fresh perspectives on their challenges. A psychologists can help you learn and practice life skills via which you can cope with ongoing or unexpected challenges in your life. The benefits of psychotherapy depend on your goals and expectations. It results are also dependent on how well you utilize your sessions with the psychologist and how willing are you to practice the skills in real life situations.

What are the benefits of psychotherapy?

Some benefits experienced by individuals in psychotherapy are:

  • Greater understanding of themselves or better self awareness.
  • Increased knowledge of coping skills to deal with life challenges.
  • Better interpersonal relationships with friends, family, and peers.
  • Boost in self-esteem and self confidence.
  • Learning effective ways to cope with negative emotions such as, depression, anger and anxiety.
  • Increased emotional resilience.

What are different types of psychotherapy?

There are many scientifically validated approaches to psychotherapy. I utilize elements from both shorter term Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and longer term psychoanalytic treatments along with techniques of mindfulness in my treatment approach. On meeting with my clients, I actively collaborate with clients to develop an individualized treatment plan catered specifically towards the needs and goals for each of them. Treatment plans are modified and updated frequently as needs and response to treatment change.

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What about privacy of the content discussed in psychotherapy?

I am a New York state licensed psychologist. The law protects confidentiality of all communications between psychologist and clients. It is extremely important for me to keep all the content discussed in sessions private. Information is only disclosed to a third party after a written consent is signed by my client giving me permission to do so. However, client safety is of utmost importance. Some limits of confidentiality include:

  • Suspected child or adult abuse
  • Intention to harm oneself or others.

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What to expect at your first appointment?

It is normal to feel anxious about your first meeting with me. Knowing what the first appointment entails, will help you ease your nervousness and help you make the most out of your visit with me. At your first visit, I will ask you to come in a few minutes early to fill out paperwork. If you are taking an medications, please bring information about the name of the medication and dosage. Any prior psychological assessment reports or treatment summaries from previous psychologist are also helpful. When we meet, I will start by asking a series of questions to learn more about you and gain a good understanding of what brings you to therapy. I will also go over logistics including, fees, scheduling, cancellation policy, and confidentiality. It is important to know that learning about you and your life experiences may take a few sessions. During this process you may expect to have developed a better understanding of your own problems and greater self awareness. In the first few sessions, I will actively work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan and you may walk away with a new sense of hope.

What to expect as psychotherapy progresses?

Following the first few sessions, we will mutually decide whether we can work together to address your individualized treatment goals. If we agree to work together, as sessions progress you will begin to learn new coping skills to address your presenting problems and work on effectively applying them in your daily life. Depending on the focus of treatment we will determine the frequency of sessions. Typically, I meet with my clients once a week. When addressing relationship problems, I may suggest involving significant others, such parents, siblings, and spouses. When working with children, I would recommend parents to allow me to work collaboratively with teachers and school counselors. I encourage all my clients to be active and engaged participants in psychotherapy. I may suggest, keeping a journal or thought diary if needed. Clients are encouraged to ask questions and give feedback in sessions about how they are experiencing psychotherapy, such that I can work more effectively in tailoring their individualized treatment plan.

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