10801 S. Western Ave., Suite 2B | Chicago, Illinois  |   (708) 586-7357

Therapy FAQs

Welcome to our Therapy FAQ section! Starting therapy can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re considering therapy for the first time or have been in therapy before. In this section, we address common questions people have about the therapy process so that you can feel confident and informed as you start making decisions about your care. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please reach out to us directly! We want to support you every step of the way.

Deciding if therapy is right for you is a personal choice that depends on a number of factors. If you’re struggling with emotions, relationships, or behaviors that interfere with your daily life, therapy can be beneficial. Consider seeking therapy if you feel overwhelmed, stuck, or unable to cope with stressors on your own. Additionally, if you’re experiencing symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or trauma, therapy can provide valuable support and guidance. Ultimately, therapy offers a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings, learn coping skills, and work towards personal growth and healing. If you’re unsure, discussing your concerns with a therapist can help you determine if therapy is the right path for you.

Therapy can help you in various ways, depending on your unique needs and goals. Here are some ways therapy can be beneficial:

  1. Emotional Support: Therapy provides a safe and non-judgmental space to express your thoughts and feelings. A therapist can offer empathy, validation, and understanding, helping you feel heard and supported.
  2. Insight and Self-awareness: Through therapy, you can gain deeper insight into your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, as well as the ways in which societal problems like sexism, racism, homophobia, or ableism are impacting you. This increased self-awareness can help you understand the root causes of your challenges, feel validated, and make positive changes in your life.
  3. Coping Skills: Our therapists have specialized training to teach you the practical coping skills that research has shown to be helpful in managing stress, anxiety, depression, challenging kid behaviors, and other difficulties.
  4. Trauma Processing: If you’ve experienced trauma or difficult life events, therapy can provide a safe space to process your feelings and work through the impact of the trauma. Therapists use evidence-based techniques to help you heal and recover.
  5. Relationship Improvement: Therapy can enhance your interpersonal skills and improve your relationships with others. By exploring communication patterns, addressing conflicts, and setting healthy boundaries, you can build stronger and more fulfilling connections.

Overall, therapy offers a supportive and collaborative environment for personal growth, healing, and empowerment. Whether you’re facing specific challenges or simply seeking self-improvement, therapy can be a valuable resource on your journey towards a happier and more fulfilling life.

During a therapy session, you can expect a supportive and confidential environment where you can openly discuss your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with a trained professional. Here’s what typically happens during a therapy session:

  1. Exploration and Reflection: The majority of the session will be spent exploring your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Your therapist may ask open-ended questions to help you reflect on your feelings and gain insight into your challenges.
  2. Skill Building and Coping Strategies: Depending on your needs, your therapist may teach you practical coping skills and strategies to manage stress, anxiety, or other difficulties. These may include relaxation techniques, mindfulness exercises, or problem-solving skills.
  3. Processing and Emotional Support: Therapy provides a safe space to express your emotions and process difficult experiences. Your therapist will offer empathy, validation, and support as you navigate your feelings and work through challenges.
  4. Feedback and Reflection: Throughout the session, your therapist may offer feedback, insights, and reflections to help you gain new perspectives and deepen your understanding of yourself.
  5. Homework Assignments (if applicable): In some cases, your therapist may assign homework or tasks to complete between sessions. These assignments are designed to reinforce learning and practice new skills outside of the therapy room.
  6. Closure and Planning for Future Sessions: Towards the end of the session, your therapist will summarize key points discussed and address any remaining questions or concerns. You’ll also have the opportunity to schedule future sessions and discuss any topics you’d like to focus on in upcoming sessions.

Overall, therapy sessions are collaborative and tailored to your individual needs and goals. Your therapist is there to provide guidance, support, and encouragement as you work towards personal growth and positive change.

The number of therapy sessions you may need can vary widely depending on various factors, including the nature and severity of your concerns, your treatment goals, your level of motivation and engagement in therapy, and the therapeutic approach used by your therapist. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as therapy is a highly individualized process.

Some people may find relief and achieve their goals in just a few sessions, while others may benefit from longer-term therapy to address more complex issues or achieve deeper personal growth. In general, therapy is considered successful when you have achieved the goals you initially set out to address and feel equipped with the tools and insights to cope with future challenges effectively.

Your therapist will work collaboratively with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals, which will include the important question: how will we know therapy is completed? Together, you can regularly review your progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed based on your evolving needs and goals.

Medication and therapy are two distinct but complementary approaches to treating mental health conditions. While medication can be helpful in managing symptoms, it is not a substitute for therapy. Here’s why:

  1. Different Approaches: Medication primarily targets the biological aspects of mental health conditions by altering brain chemistry, while therapy addresses the psychological and emotional factors that contribute to challenges you may be experiencing. Therapy helps you understand your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and develop coping skills to manage them effectively.
  2. Long-Term Benefits: While medication can provide relief from symptoms, its effects are often temporary and may not address the underlying issues causing distress. Therapy, on the other hand, can lead to long-lasting improvements by helping you develop insight, resilience, and healthy coping mechanisms that can be applied in various situations throughout your life.
  3. Comprehensive Treatment: For many individuals, the most effective approach to managing mental health conditions involves a combination of medication and therapy. This comprehensive treatment approach addresses both the biological and psychological aspects of mental illness, maximizing the likelihood of successful outcomes.
  4. Addressing Root Causes: Therapy allows you to explore the root causes of your symptoms, such as past traumas or unresolved emotions. By addressing these underlying issues, therapy can help you experience lasting relief and build a foundation for future well-being.
  5. Personal Growth and Self-Empowerment: Therapy empowers you to take an active role in your healing process and fosters personal growth and self-awareness. Through therapy, you can develop a deeper understanding of yourself, strengthen your relationships, and build resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

While medication can be a valuable tool in managing symptoms, it is most effective when used in conjunction with therapy. By combining medication with therapy, you can address the full spectrum of factors contributing to your mental health condition and work towards holistic recovery and wellness. Ultimately, the decision to pursue medication, therapy, or both depends on your individual needs, preferences, and treatment goals.

Whether your insurance covers therapy sessions depends on several factors, including your insurance provider, your specific plan, and the type of therapy you’re seeking. Fortunately, our admin team is here to help! Ashli, our benefits coordinator, runs complimentary insurance checks for all new clients. If our services are covered by insurance (which is usually the case with BCBS, Aetna, UBH, and Medicare policies), that is wonderful! If not, our admin team will provide you with a Good Faith Estimate that will outline exactly what you can expect to pay.

Yes, therapy is typically confidential, and therapists are bound by strict ethical and legal guidelines to protect the privacy of their clients. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of the therapeutic relationship and is essential for creating a safe and trusting environment for clients to explore their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

Here are some key aspects of therapy confidentiality:

  1. Legal and Ethical Obligations: Mental health professionals, including therapists, psychologists, and counselors, are bound by laws and ethical standards that require them to maintain the confidentiality of client information. These standards are outlined in professional codes of ethics and laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States.
  2. Limits to Confidentiality: While therapy is confidential, there are some exceptions to confidentiality that therapists are required to adhere to. These exceptions typically include situations where there is a risk of serious harm to the client or others, suspected child or elder abuse or neglect, or when mandated by law (such as a court order).
  3. Informed Consent: Before beginning therapy, you will receive information about the limits of confidentiality and the circumstances under which confidentiality may be breached. This is often outlined in the written informed consent form that we provide at the outset of therapy.
  4. Secure Record-Keeping: Therapists are responsible for maintaining secure records of client information and are required to take measures to safeguard client confidentiality. This includes protecting electronic records with encryption and password protection and keeping paper records in locked filing cabinets.
  5. Professional Communication: Therapists are careful about how they communicate with clients to protect confidentiality. We do not discuss you or your family with anyone outside of MQA, we are careful to have telehealth sessions only using HIPAA compliant platforms and in settings where privacy and confidentiality is assured, and we use only direct phone calls and our encrypted email (never personal emails, texts, etc) to communicate with you.

We take therapy confidentiality very seriously by mental health professionals, and want you to be able to feel confident that your personal information will be kept confidential within the bounds of ethical and legal standards. If you have any concerns about confidentiality, you can discuss them with your therapist to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your rights and protections.

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