What is the difference between therapy and coaching?
Therapy and coaching are very different and in some ways very similar. Licensed therapists and professional coaches can provide coaching and mentoring to their clients. However, it is important to note the differences so that you as a client know before you decide to schedule with either a therapist or a coach. Both professions seek to give the utmost to the clients who are seeking support and both work to facilitate positive change and personal growth. However, there are a few differences. A therapist can diagnose using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a coach cannot diagnose. If you are wishing to use your insurance benefits, your insurance will expect a DSM diagnosis in order for them to process an insurance claim. A therapist can assist with mental and emotional disorders, a coach cannot. A therapist can help repair a trauma, provide a deeper level of support, heal a break in a family system, provide support and guidance with deeper marital issues, or support a person who is having major emotional or mental life events such as having experienced grief or loss. If you are looking for more extensive, deeper work, or have experienced trauma in your life you either need or wish to address, you would be better suited working with a therapist.
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 counselor 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.
Do I really need therapy?
I can usually handle my problems. Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. 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. It is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect, and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
Although you are welcome to use your insurance benefits when seeing Dr. Walker, please note that she is considered an out-of-network provider. If you wish to use your insurance benefits, she will be happy to provide you with a receipt following each session or a statement of services you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. 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:
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy visits does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- 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 psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult/elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety.
However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.