Frequently Asked Questions
What will I need for my first SoulSpring appointment?
You are likely to benefit most from your first therapy session if you arrive with an open mind and a willingness to change. There are some necessary forms that your therapist will ask you to complete and bring to your first appointment. The more thoroughly and honestly you have completed these forms, the smoother that meeting will be.
Your therapist will review Informed Consent with you, which reviews a range of issues including confidentiality policy, fee structuring, and communications policies, to name a few. If warranted, your therapist will ask you to sign a Release of Information form to give him or her permission to communicate with other persons (such as an emergency contact) or agencies (such as an insurance company). If you are the parent or guardian of a minor who is seeing us, you may have your own form to sign for us. Adolescent therapy clients may complete their own paperwork.
Next, your therapist will review your Intake Form to get a sense of the problems that have brought you to therapy and what goals you have to resolve them. Finally, your therapist will check in with you to determine if you feel that s/he is understanding you and is a good fit for your needs. If so, the two of you will collaborate regarding frequency of sessions, goals, and any "homework" that might serve you in between sessions. For more information please refer to Your First Appointment.
Sessions are approximately 50 minutes unless agreed upon otherwise.
What exactly IS "psychotherapy"? I don't feel comfortable being analyzed by a stranger.
It is probably easier to start with what therapy is not, then move to more of what it really is. Here are a few myths about psychotherapy:
Despite commonly held beliefs, therapy does not look like one person lying on a couch while the faceless therapist sits behind mumbling, “Mmmm....Yes.....Tell me about your mother...” Therapy is not giving advice, and it is not a dissertation-style analysis of you and your problems. It is not prescribing medication, although psychotherapists work with psychiatrists who do prescribe medication. Therapy is not only repeating what you just said, and it is not constantly asking that dreaded question, “How does that make you feel?”
So if psychotherapy is not all that, then what is it? Here's the deal: Therapy is a relationship between one person seeking help with emotional, relational, behavioral issues (the "client") and another individual who is trained to help that client heal, cope with, or move past those issues (the "therapist"). The therapist first actively listens to the client to hear the client's story, then joins with the client to validate the client's perspectives, then helps the client to establish therapeutic goals. Most of the time following, whether sessions are few or many, the therapist assists the client to reach his or her therapeutic goals.
The therapist provides validation, support, education, training, and occasionally a little challenge through a variety of "talk therapy" techniques to help the client move forward in life. Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. Sessions are typically 50 minutes each, and it is most beneficial to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
Learn more in-depth information about the nature of psychotherapy.
How can therapy help me? Isn't it easier for me to talk to friends or work on myself?
Research consistently shows that "talk therapy" can resolve many mental health issues that clients bring to the therapist's office. For some concerns like depression and anxiety, talk therapy combined with medication is more effective at alleviating distress than either type of treatment alone. Unlike family and friends, mental health professionals can provide undivided attention and unbiased support. They have no personal agenda related to a client's distress other than helping him or her get better. Trained and experienced to help others learn to cope, therapists provide an additional perspective that the client working alone may not ever see. Some of therapy's benefits include:
Feeling better about yourself, enjoying more fulfilling relationships
Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
Improving your communication and conflict resolution skills
Letting go of compulsions and becoming more purpose-driven
Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
Helping you get "unstuck" and make progress toward significant life decisions
Letting go of the past and moving forward toward life goals
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
In general, psychotherapy helps you find resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy in the first place. Do you think you might benefit from speaking with a therapist?
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental health challenges and the pain they cause usually cannot be solved by medication alone. Some mental health issues benefit greatly from pharmacological treatment, and the client will be referred to a caring psychiatrist if a medication referral is warranted. However, research consistently shows that medication combined with therapy gives the best results than either type of therapy alone.
When appropriately prescribed, medication can restore neurochemical functioning that affects our moods and thoughts. Therapy helps the client identify and change specific thought and behavior patterns that are keeping the client stuck, something medication generally does not do. Often, mental health symptoms can be resolved with psychotherapy alone. It is best to be honest with your therapist and your doctor, and to allow them to work as a team, for your most effective mental health progress.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust – the client must feel confident that what he or she has shared will not be discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement. This is called “Informed Consent”. (Click here for a copy of SoulSpring Counseling's Informed Consent).
There may be times when want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your physician, attorney, or emergency contact). By law, your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission (although verbal permission may be granted in certain situations.)
It is imperative for you, the client, to know that there are situations for which state law and professional ethics require therapists to break confidentiality for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, elders, or other adults. Licensed Psychotherapists are mandated by law to report any suspicions of abuse to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources. Therapists do not need to have any confirmation that abuse has occurred. The minimum threshold for reporting is having a reasonable suspicion that abuse may be occurring.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
Click for detailed information about the limits and privileges of confidentiality as covered by the HIPAA law.
Can you guarantee I will get better?
Unfortunately, no. It is unethical for licensed therapists to guarantee any kind of result. (Learn more on Counselors' Code of Ethics).
How you respond to therapy depends on so many factors... Some depend on the skill of the therapist, some depend on logistical issues (such as frequency of sessions), and some on the nature or severity of the presenting problem. Research shows that the greatest predictor of the success of therapy primarily depends on the therapeutic bond between client and therapist, and the amount of energy the client puts into his or her growth and change. Our goal as mental health therapists is to connect with you to help you feel understood and empowered, so that you can feel equipped to make the changes you need to create the life that you desire.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
SoulSpring Counseling is in network with Aetna, AvMed/Magellan, Cigna, Humana, and TRICARE. For clients who have out of network benefits, SoulSpring Counseling will submit the claims to the insurance companies on the client's behalf. Learn more information on rates and insurance.
I’m a Registered Mental Health Counselor or Marriage and Family Intern. Do you provide licensure Supervision?
Yes, Wynne is a Qualified Supervisor for Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Interns. Our Palm Beach Gardens office is convenient to North Palm Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Tequesta, and the greater West Palm Beach, Florida area.
Our organization is looking for on a mental health topic. Are any of your staff public speakers?
Yes, Wynne and Rhodena are currently available to speak a variety of mental health and other issues in the South Florida area. Visit our Services page Public Speaking for details.
Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem, Baby Girl!"