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People come for coaching or counseling for a number of reasons. S ome need help in adjusting to unexpected challenges and changes and others want to explore and achieve some aspect for personal growth. Sometimes people need help with coping strategies or when they have become overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair. Counseling and coaching can provide much needed support in the way of problem-solving or issues associated with depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationships, unresolved issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People who seek these types of assistance are willing to take responsibility for their actions, evaluate existing strategies, and work toward self-change.
Individual, couple or family, or group therapy all can be effective in dealing with challenges and meeting goals, depending on a person’s specific goals. Your preference and goals will determine the type of intervention recommended. In individual therapy or counseling you are actively guided to achieve resolution to your particular challenges. While individual therapy can aid in relationship issues, couples therapy provides a neutral, safe environment for partners to work together through relationship challenges. Family therapy may incorporate the whole family or a few family members. Family therapy provides a neutral safe environment for family members to work together through challenges linked to family life. Group therapy is comprised of a few people 8-12 who have a common life issue. During each group session a different topic is discussed relative to the experiences of group participants.
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Weekly sessions are normally best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records. For therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Counseling, therapy and coaching can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find them to be a great help to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and life’s common stressors. The benefits you obtain from them depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available include:
• Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
• Developing skills for improving your relationships
• Finding resolution to issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
• Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
• Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
• Improving communications skills; listening to others, and having others listen to you
• Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns; breaking old behaviors and developing new ones
• Discovering new ways to solve problems
• Improving self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy, your first task is to figure that out. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.
There is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
• Do I have mental health benefits?
• What is my deductible and has it been met?
• How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
• How much do you pay for an out-of-net provider?
• Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
• Is primary care physician approval required?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
• Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
• If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
• If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.