Answers to your questions about therapy
Is therapy confidential?
The confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychologist is protected by law. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, by law there are some exceptions required. These exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- Threat of serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- Threat of self-inflicted injury. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety but sometimes additional help is necessary.
What should I expect in the first session?
It is very normal to feel nervous before going to your first therapy session. I have found that patients quickly begin to feel more relaxed and comfortable once we meet and begin to discuss their concerns. During the first session, I typically ask for a brief description of the reasons for which you are seeking therapy. There are also some forms that I ask you to fill out which ask questions about your life history. The primary goals during the first meeting are to begin to develop a mutual understanding of the causes of your distress and begin to work together to develop solutions. During initial meetings, we will set goals and treatment plans as well as discuss financial and time considerations and other important aspects of developing a mutually agreed upon treatment plan.
How long does therapy last?
The length of treatment varies according to the nature of your issue and your goals. Some issues and concerns can be treated in a relatively brief time period (ie: 6-10 sessions) while other more long standing issues require a greater time commitment. I find that most clients experience relief from distress within the first 5-9 sessions.
Do you prescribe medication?
Psychologists in Florida do not currently prescribe medication. However, I have a working knowledge of medication and work in close collaboration with physicians when medication is needed. During therapy, I will offer my impressions on the value of medication to treat your unique psychological issue, when appropriate.