Frequently Asked Questions
- What is psychotherapy?
- Why should I have a therapist?
- What happens during a therapy session?
- What benefits can I expect from therapy?
- Do you accept insurance?
- What is the time commitment for psychotherapy?
- Is therapy confidential?
- What is the difference between online (Telehealth) therapy and in-person therapy?
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy also known as counseling, or therapy, is a relationship between a client and a mental health professional that helps the client safely and effectively work towards self healing and self empowerment. The therapist works as a catalyst for change while believing in the client’s own unique ability to have his or her own answers within. Through therapy, a client becomes more self aware of those answers and is able to use these answers to improve mental health and overall quality of life and relationships.
Why should I have a therapist?
Although therapy is not for everyone, it can truly be life changing. It is difficult if not impossible to recognize all of our own patterns of behavior that cause us to remain stuck. With the help of a therapist, one is able to see his/her “blind spots” and make changes to improve quality of life and improve significant relationships.
What happens during a therapy session?
A therapy session is typically 50 minutes long and involves a client talking to a therapist about life events. The therapist is able to listen with empathy and from a non-judgmental place to help a client see patterns of behavior, recognize negative self talk, recognize relationship dynamics and overall how they present to the world. Through these realizations, over time, a client is able to improve their quality of life and significant relationships. This process is very individual and clients are encouraged to actively participate in their own treatment, which includes letting your therapist know frequently what is working well for you and what may not be working well for you.
What benefits can I expect from therapy?
Therapy is a journey of self discovery. A person contemplating therapy can expect to “discover” new ways of looking at themselves. The benefits of therapy are limitless but include: becoming a better manager of your life; gaining a better understanding of who you are and where you would like to see your life go; gaining a better understanding of how past events impact who you are today; gaining a better understanding of your personal goals; developing skills to improve relationships; developing skills to manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss. Therapy empowers you to gain control over improving your overall life and relationship satisfaction.
Do you accept insurance?
Life Summit Counseling does not accept insurance and is considered an out of network provider. Life Summit Counseling is able to give you a Superbill/monthly summary of services for you to submit to insurance for reimbursement. (Please check with insurance to verify your benefits and coverage).
There are several reasons Life Summit Counseling has chosen to not accept insurance:
- Diagnosis. Insurance companies require a mental health diagnosis, which is not in alignment with the philosophy of Life Summit Counseling. Most people presenting to counseling for phase of life concerns will not qualify for a mental health diagnosis and we are ethically opposed to stigmatizing individuals unnecessarily for purposes of reimbursement. Life Summit Counseling chooses to see people as a whole, not only as the symptoms with which they present.
- Confidentiality. In addition, managed care plans often require detailed information regarding the problem for which you are seeking help; life history, symptoms, family life, work life, and so on. The information is entered into increasingly large information systems, and current regulations are not strong in protecting confidentiality. Again, this is a breach of Life Summit Counseling’s philosophy to maintain a confidential, safe environment.
- Session limits. Managed care companies may use the information to decide if treatment is medically necessary, what kind of therapy is approved, and later, if it should continue. Many of the insurance company employees who make these decisions have limited training, and of course have never met with you.
- Marriage and Family. A large portion of Life Summit Counseling is marriage and family counseling. Most insurance companies will not cover this type of counseling. Therapists who bill insurance for marriage or family counseling will diagnose one member of the couple or family, making them the “identified patient”. This creates a victim and blame scenario, which is countertherapeutic and against our philosophy.
What is the time commitment for psychotherapy?
The time commitment for therapy is typically one 50 minutes session per week. During an especially difficult time, a couple, family or individual may request additional time or an additional session. The time frame for the therapy relationship can be short term to focus on a specific challenge or difficult issue or therapy can be more long term when a client wishes to work on more complex issues. The key here is that the client has control over their own progress, emotional healing and together with their therapist can make an individual plan that will work well for each individual.
Is therapy confidential?
Confidentiality is such a key piece to trust and relationship building in the therapeutic relationship. Everything confided in therapy is my legal and ethical duty to keep confidential except when required by law. The exceptions to confidentiality are:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person or persons.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself.
- When ordered by a court of law.
What is the difference between online (Telehealth) therapy and in-person therapy?
The difference between online therapy (Telehealth) and in-person therapy is the way in which we communicate. Telehealth has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to grow due to the convenience factor. Our sessions will occur through our HIPAA-compliant video platform. Studies have shown, along with our experience with clients, that Telehealth is just as effective as in-person therapy. In addition, Telehealth offers the convenience to be anywhere including the comfort of your home, school, or while traveling. The time saved not commuting to a therapist’s office while benefitting from the same privacy and therapeutic effectiveness, makes online therapy a compelling choice for many people.
Can't Find Your Question?
If you have questions about anything above or questions that are not covered here, please do not hesitate to reach out. Jennifer is happy to answer any questions you may have.