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Common Questions

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

 

What can I expect in a therapy session?

 

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 50 minutes. Sometimes individuals who are going through a particularly difficult challenge may request more time per session or more than one session per week. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Between sessions it is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.

 

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life's challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

 

  • Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
  • Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
  • Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
  • Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
  • Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Enhancing the overall quality of life

 
 

What is the difference between Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy?

In general, all of these therapeutic techniques have the same goal--to assist clients in reaching their personal, professional, familial, social and even spiritual goals in life.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy o(or CBT) is known for it's practical applications with depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. It assists clients in making mental and behavioral changes in a systematic manner. Often it involves the client learning how to analyze and reinterpret their own 'inner dialogue.' It also offers practical methods for changing difficult behaviors.

Hypnotherapy is essentially a therapeutic form of hypnosis and can only be practiced by licensed psychotherapists certified in this practice. NLP has it's roots in hypnosis. Practitioners of Hypnotherapy and NLP can often assist clients with life problems that do not respond to typical psychotherapy techniques. It is assumed that there are positive unconscious intentions that must be addressed in order to help client's change their thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Solution Focused Therapy looks at client's as simply human beings who have encountered specific life problems and assists them in finding targeted solutions. There is no assumption of deep seated psychological problems--only a focus on providing solutions to functional life problems in the here and now. There is no need to explore past motivations or experiences in order to provide Solution Focused therapy.

 

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

Currently Affinity Therapy Services is a psychotherapy provider for the following private insurance groups:

  • BLUE SHIELD OF CALIFORNIA
  • CIGNA
  • COMPSYCH/GUIDANCE RESOURCES
  • MHN: MANAGED HEALTH NETWORK

If your insurance is not listed here, Affinity Therapy Services can offer Out Of Network psychotherapy services. In these situations we do not bill your insurance. However, we can produce a billing record so that you may pursue payment with your insurance company. We can also talk with your insurance company to request being added to their provider list. In the interim, payment is made directly to the therapist while you are pursuing the final determination on your insurance.

To determine if you have mental health coverage, 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 does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

 

Is therapy confidential?

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.