Psychotherapy & Consultation: FAQs

1. How does the process of psychotherapy work?

Typically, after an appointment has been scheduled, the therapist and the client meet and begin talking about the client’s main concerns. The therapist listens carefully, and often asks questions in an effort to fully understand what the client is reporting. Sometimes, children and teenagers are not sure of where to begin, or of how to describe their situations. When this happens, the therapist helps to guide the discussion, making sure the client reports only that information that he or she feels comfortable discussing at that time. (Many people talk more openly after they have had a chance to get to know the therapist better, and this can take several sessions.) Eventually, the client and therapist talk openly about the client’s concerns, and then work together, developing strategies that help the client to feel better and/or to function in more healthy and balanced ways.

2. Is my therapy confidential?

The full benefit of “confidentiality” applies to individuals who are 18 years of age or older. In general, however, most parents understand that communication between any client and a psychologist is usually confidential, and I ask parents of my younger clients to respect that boundary. In some situations, where a child’s or teenager’s health and safety may be at risk, I am required, by law, to involve other adults and to consult with the appropriate medical and/or psychiatric professional. In addition, I try to consult with parents as much as possible. However, if a child or teenager is uncomfortable with that, I try to consult with parents only with the child’s or teenager’s awareness and permission.

3. How long will it take before I feel better?

Most people experience some relief immediately, since it is usually helpful to identify specific problems and to begin working through them. Beyond that, it is difficult to say how long psychotherapy will last, as it depends on (1) the nature of the problems to be addressed, and (2), how well the client and the therapist work together. (While psychotherapy is, indeed, a professional process, it still happens within the context of a relationship. As a rule, the better the relationship, the more effective the therapy will be.) Some people come for five to seven sessions, but it is not uncommon for individuals to schedule weekly or bi-weekly sessions for a few months or more.

4. How do I know that psychotherapy will help me?

You don’t! As mentioned above, psychotherapy has helped individuals to reduce feelings of distress, such as anger, depression, loneliness and fear; it has helped people to improve their relationships with others, such as with their peers or with their parents; and it has helped many people to learn specific ways of dealing with other difficult emotional, behavioral and academic problems. The best way to see if psychotherapy could be helpful to you is to schedule an initial consultation session. In this meeting, the therapist and you can review your personal situation and discuss treatment options that would be best suited for you at this time.

Call 978-369-5036 or use our contact form for an initial consultation appointment.