Frquently Asked Questions
What is therapy?
Therapy is a professional, yet personal, relationship which offers necessary help. Nurturing a relationship is at the heart of therapy.
A psychologist can help you work through problems that have you feeling overwhelmed or stuck.
Through therapy, psychologists help people live more fulfilling, healthier, and productive lives.
How can therapy be helpful?
Because of the many misconceptions about therapy, you may be reluctant to try it out. Even if you know the realities instead of the myths, you may feel nervous about trying it yourself. Overcoming that nervousness is worth it. That’s because any time your quality of life isn’t what you want it to be, therapy can help. Some people seek therapy because they have felt depressed, anxious, or angry for a long time. Others may want help for a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. Still others may have short-term problems they need help navigating.
What’s the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist?
At the most basic level, a psychologist treats mental health problems through non-medication means (i.e., therapy or “talk therapy”) while a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can prescribe medications. Many psychologists conduct research and/or provide therapy. Psychologists are also known for their specialized training in assessment and psychological assessment.
Do you prescribe medication?
No. It would be best to consult with a psychiatrist since they are trained medical doctors and the focus of their treatment is through medication management. Working with your medical doctor can help determine what’s best for you.
How long should therapy take?
This depends on several factors such as the type of problem, your goals, and what’s going on in your life outside of therapy. Some people feel relief after only a single session of therapy. Meeting with a psychologist can give a new perspective, help them see situations differently, and offer relief from pain. Most people find some benefit after a few sessions, especially if they’re working on a single, well-defined problem and didn’t wait too long before seeking help.
Other people and situations take longer to benefit from therapy. One may have experienced trauma, have multiple problems, or just be unclear about what’s making them unhappy. It’s important to stick with therapy long enough to give it a chance to work.
Others continue therapy even after they solve the problems that brought them there initially. That’s because they continue to experience new insights, improved well-being, and better functioning.
Is therapy confidential?
Psychologists consider maintaining your privacy extremely important. It is a part of their professional code of ethics. To make therapy as effective as possible, you need to be open and honest about your most private thoughts and behaviors. That can be nerve-wracking, but you don’t have to worry about your psychologist sharing your secrets with anyone except in the most extreme situations. For example, if you reveal that you plan to hurt yourself or others, your psychologist is duty-bound to report that to authorities for your own protection and the safety of others. Psychologists must also report abuse, exploitation, or neglect of children, the elderly, or people with disabilities.
What are the benefits of self-pay?
There are many benefits to opting for self-pay services including 1) increased privacy and confidentiality by not having to report to a third party insurance company about the nature of your therapy, 2) allows you to self-determine your treatment timeline and prevent feeling controlled by your insurance providers coverage and 3) going through insurance will require a diagnosis. This diagnosis can be quite influential in future considerations for insurability such as life insurance or even future careers.
What if therapy isn’t working?
I encourage people to give therapy a few sessions to determine if it is a good fit. However, I understand that there are occasions where the therapist-client match is not a good fit. Despite this, it still might be important for you to connect with someone and engage in services. Please visit therapy for black girls, melanin and mental health, therapy for black men, or psychology today to learn of other providers that might interest you.
To schedule a free 15-min consultation, please contact me