How can therapy help me?
You can gain numerous benefits from therapy. A therapist can provide support in times of stress, help with developing and practicing coping strategies, and even problem solve with you. As an objective observer, your therapist can offer you a fresh perspective on old issues and guide you to identifying your own blind spots. Working with a therapist also gives you a space that is just yours, where the only agenda is to help you achieve your goals. Those goals can include improving self-esteem, learning to be kinder to yourself, improving communication in your relationships, changing patterns of behavior that don’t suit you, and managing times of emotional distress.
Therapy can also provide you with a safe and confidential environment to process any trauma you may have faced in your life as well to deal with loss and grief.
What should I be looking for in a therapist?
Studies show that the most important factor in successful therapy is the therapeutic relationship. The relationship between you and your therapist is one of trust and it is important you feel comfortable in it. When you are looking for a therapist, ask for a short phone conversation so that you can feel how the conversation will flow. Ask about their general approach and pay attention to what kinds of questions they ask you. If there are specific modalities of therapy you are interested in, feel free to ask about the therapist’s level of experience in them. The initial conversation should feel easy yet professional. The best way to really assess whether a therapist is “good fit” for you is to go ahead and schedule that first session.
What can I expect in a typical therapy session with you?
Therapists have many different styles of conducting sessions. My sessions are 50 minutes long and start on the hour. I like to think of sessions as “your time,” meaning we make it what you need. Sessions with me usually feel like a regular conversation. You get to talk, and it is my job to work the therapy in. Typically, I follow your lead. If you need help figuring out what to talk about, I can always help guide the session. I like to take a “zoom in-zoom out” approach, meaning we will work together to zoom in on your unique experiences, struggles, and desires and we will also zoom out to explore the larger context of your culture, your family, your gender and your race. Good therapy helps you learn how to use these two lenses together to help gain greater understanding and compassion for yourself and others.
Do you take insurance and how does that work?
I am not empaneled with any insurance panels in New Jersey. However, I can provide you with a monthly superbill that lists the paid costs of your therapy, which you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement.
I am on limited insurance panels in New York and am happy to check your benefits once we have a chance to chat and see if we might be a good fit.
Do you prescribe medication?
I do not prescribe medication because I am not a physician. I often work collaboratively with primary care doctors or psychiatrists if the need for medication arises. There may be situations when I feel a medical consultation to assess the need for medication is indicated. In such cases, I work with the client to formulate a plan and offer a referral if needed. As always, I believe clients should feel in control of their therapy and so the use of medication is a careful and open discussion if it should arise.
How long will I have to be in therapy?
The duration of therapy depends on your needs and goals. In general, most clients come to therapy when they are going through acute distress and so come once a week to start with. Once things feel more stable, I will work with you to decide what is in your best clinical interest. Most clients choose to transition to bi weekly sessions, eventually moving to monthly check ins before terminating therapy when they feel issues are appropriately resolved. I encourage clients to think of their therapist as a tool in their health toolbox, revisiting therapy as needed. You can read more about my philosophy about the use of therapy here: **INSERT LINK TO LIFESPAN THERAPY BLOG**
Some clients choose to maintain an indefinite commitment to therapy as a regular part of their health care, and that is perfectly alright too. However, I am ethically bound to check in periodically and make sure that I continue to serve a clinically appropriate function.
Keep in mind that you will get out of therapy what you put into it. The more you are able to apply and integrate our therapeutic conversations into your everyday life, the more effective therapy will be.
What about confidentiality?
All interactions with your therapist are considered Protected Health Information (PHI). That means that all notes, forms, and conversations we have are strictly confidential. There are a few exceptions to this, however. They are as follows:
Childe/Elder Abuse: I am a mandated reporter of suspected child or elder abuse.
Imminent Harm to Self/Others: If you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or others, police and/or an ambulance will be called to ensure safety.
In session emergency: If you experience a medical emergency in session, an ambulance will be called. No information about why you are in therapy will be shared.
I extend confidentiality to the community and to social media. This means that if we run into one another out and about in the community, I will not acknowledge you for the sake of maintaining confidentiality around our relationship. I am always open to saying hello, but I leave it to clients to make first contact.
I do not accept requests for connection on personal social media sites. Clients are always welcome to follow my practice related social media accounts (@Sukoon.Therapy, @5PillarsofMarriage) but I will not follow back in service of confidentiality.