Policies and Common Questions
Can you tell me about your treatment approach?
Many people who seek psychotherapy are experiencing distress or confusion over their current circumstances. Common concerns are problematic patterns in relationships, identity issues, overwhelming stress, overcoming a difficult or abusive childhood, career concerns, parenting issues, difficulty with anger, depression, impulsiveness, or anxiety. Whatever your particular concerns are, my goal is to approach psychotherapy as an interactive process where you and I together explore the issues that contribute to the current difficulties you experience. During our sessions, we may talk about strategies and techniques for dealing with current problems. We may also spend time understanding the impact of your early development on current difficulties. It is my belief that our earliest family relationships provide the template for who we become and how we view ourselves. These early experiences leave us with expectations about ourselves and our relationships that we then bring to our interactions with the world around us. These early experiences are especially influential as we seek to form and nurture intimate relationships with partners and children. We can talk more about how we might work together either before or during our first meeting.
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an import decision. It requires a very real commitment of time and resources, yet there can be benefits that result in powerful and lasting change. 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 counsel 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 a valuable opportunity 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. This is an important question, one which we can address in our initial session.
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:
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 relationships, family or marriage
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
How do we begin?
When beginning therapy it is important that you and Dr. Erickson both feel that working together would be a good idea. Usually this entails meeting several times to discuss your particular concerns and to begin to get an idea of how you might work together. It is important that you feel comfortable enough to talk about things and that you feel the potential for challenge or growth through our interactions. The first session usually involves discussing goals and expectations for treatment and a plan to address things.
Many clients feel encouraged and comfortable from the start and are ready to begin. Some clients interview several therapists in order to find the best fit. The most important consideration is to find a place that the client feels understood and that the therapist has something of value to offer. If it becomes evident that working together would not be the best idea for you, Dr. Erickson will be happy to suggest other highly competent therapists.
Every therapy session is unique and depends on the particular situation facing the client and their goals. We will arrange a schedule of regular appointments. It is most common to meet once a week for one 50-minute session. There are instances where Dr. Erickson may recommend meeting more often or for longer sessions, either to manage a difficult crisis or to deepen the intensity of the treatment. Dr. Erickson will raise this issue with you if I feel it would be of benefit. You also may raise the possibility of meeting more often if you feel it would be helpful.
Do you prescribe medication?
Dr. Erickson is a clinical psychologist and not licensed to prescribe medication. Some people feel strongly about not using medication and relying instead on the therapy to effect change. Some individuals make use of medication in conjunction with therapy to control symptoms that would otherwise hinder progress in talk therapy. Medication alone is rarely sufficient to address the problems facing most people. For individuals taking medication, Dr. Erickson works with their prescribing doctor to insure coordination of care.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
For a variety of reasons, Dr. Erickson is not a participating provider in any insurance program. Many insurance policies provide benefits that reimburse a portion of the cost of services provided by licensed mental health professionals who are out-of-network. 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:
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?
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:
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is imminently threatening serious bodily harm to a specific person. I am required by law to notify the police.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. I 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 to protect their safety.