↓How can Therapy Help me?
Participating in therapy provides several benefits. 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:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- 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
↓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.
↓Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
↓What is Therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
↓Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Mmere Dane Counseling accepts the following insurances: Cigna, Aetna, CareFirst BCBS, United Health Care, Oxford, Oscar Health. (We are working on Anthem BCBS and TriCare; and, we expect to start accepting them late Spring/early Summer 2023.)
One thing to consider when using insurance is that they require information on your diagnosis, clinical notes, and continued updates on your progress. Sometimes people decide that they want to protect their privacy and prefer not to provide a Super Bill to their insurance.
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders requires therapists to report to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
↓How do I schedule a FREE consultation?
Simply click here or call us at 703-261-9528 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation via phone or online.
↓What happens during the consultation?
During the consultation we will discuss the issues you are facing, what your needs are, and how we can help you. It's very important that you feel comfortable and secure so that you are open and honest.
↓What can I expect on the first session?
Prior to the first session you will complete the Initial Session paperwork. We usually take extra time for the first session so that we can go through the paperwork and your issues. Counseling can be a little overwhelming at first, and we want to make it easy and comfortable for you.
During the first session we will discuss the critical therapeutic policies and procedures. Our therapeutic relationship doesn’t begin until you are comfortable, and we complete the intake process.
Then we will discuss your current issues in-depth. We will also discuss your personal history and other pertinent therapy information. Don’t worry, we won’t try to cover every single little thing in our first session; therapy is a process that takes time.
It often takes a few sessions to gather all the information to complete an assessment and create a treatment plan. After we discuss your goals and desires for the outcome of therapy, we will create a treatment plan customized for you.
↓What are some of the benefits available from therapy?
- Improve your sense of wellbeing and mental health
- Improve your interpersonal relationships
- Learn how to better cope with stress and anxiety
- Learn when and how to set appropriate boundaries
- Improve and reduce the symptoms of anger, grief or loss, and other emotional pressures
- Adjust to life changes
- Improve symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Learn better communication and listening skills
- Address and change maladaptive behavior patterns
- Examine alternative ways to address your current issues
- Address trauma and PTSD in a helpful manner
- Increase your self-esteem and self-confidence
↓How long does the therapeutic process take?
You are in charge of the length of therapy based on your specific needs, unique circumstances, and goals. Each person works at their own pace and it’s best not to rush the process.
Some people have simple issues they are looking to get help with and therefore it can be addressed within 3-6 months. Again, there is no reason to rush the therapeutic process; let it guide you based on your needs. Most commonly, people have complicated, or chronic issues and it takes time to work through them.
To achieve the best results, it is recommended to schedule at least one regular, weekly session at first. It is also common toward the end of therapy to reduce the frequency rather than stop abruptly.
↓What about medication vs. therapy?
Some cases require medication and by working in an integrative manner with your medical doctor or psychiatrist, we can achieve the best possible results. Therapy can address the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that may delay your progress.
For those who have chronic pain or illness, it’s also common that medications themselves may cause mental and emotional side effects; therefore, an integrative approach may be best to achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being.
↓Does Mmere Dane work with my other doctors, school counselors, or other professionals?
Yes, absolutely. So just a few notes about integrating therapeutic services with other health professionals:
- All therapy is confidential. Therefore, to speak with other specialists, you’ll have to authorize it via a release form. This authorization will permit your therapist to discuss and work with whomever you designate. We will never contact or discuss your confidential information without your express, written authorization. See our HIPAA Policy
- Integrating other specialists with your therapy can be very beneficial. It allows your therapist to work with your other care providers on a professional level, providing you with the best possible care in an integrated manner.
- Examples of specialists which are helpful to integrate are: school psychologists, psychiatrists (especially if you are on medication), doctors, oncologists, social workers, or any specialist who has performed an assessments resulting in information that impacts your therapy. If there’s ever any doubt, discuss it during your session and collectively, we can determine integrate services will be helpful.
↓Do I have to come into the office? Do you offer online sessions?
NOTICE: ALL SERVICES ARE VIA TELEHEALTH (ONLINE OR PHONE) UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
We may offer concierge services for those times that you need a different level of service. Please contact us to discuss your unique circumstances and needs.
↓Is therapy confidential?
In short, yes. Confidentiality is an important aspect of therapy and is protected by laws, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and our professional ethics.
You will be provided a written copy of Mmere Dane Counseling, LLC’s Confidential Disclosure and Informed Consent agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone without your consent. No one (not even family) who calls or requests any information regarding you or your treatment will receive any information without your consent. Exceptions to confidentiality are only as State law permits, mandated requirement, court action or signed releases.
Sometimes you may want to integrate and share information with someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Psychiatrist, Teacher / School Counselor), however by law we cannot release any information without obtaining your written permission. By signing a Release of Information you determine exactly what information is shared and with whom.
State Law and Professional Ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which we are required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately
- If a client threatens serious bodily harm to another person/s, we must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm themselves, we will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, we will take further measures without their permission that are provided by law to ensure their safety.