Therapy can offer several benefits. Some of which include:
In addition, therapists can also 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. Therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. They 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 open you are to the process and how well you put into practice what you learn. It is important to understand that therapy is a process that is different for each person.
At some point, everyone goes through challenging situations in their life. Many times people get through these difficulties with supports that they already have in place. Sometimes, an individual’s current supports are not enough to allow a person to function to their fullest potential. In fact, there are times when a person’s currents supports are unintentionally causing more distress. If this is the case, it may be a good time to consider therapy. Therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be revered. You are taking responsibility by accepting the situation as it is, and making a commitment to change the situation if needed by seeking therapy. Therapy has the potential to provide long-lasting benefits and supports, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
There are many different reasons why people seek treatment from a therapist. Some people may be going through a major life transition (death of a loved one, break-up, 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, past or reoccurring trauma and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and skills to help people push 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. Whatever the reason, therapy can be helpful to anyone who is an open and willing participant.
There are many different approaches to psychotherapy. Some counselors use techniques and skills from various treatment modalities, while other counselors only work using a certain modality of treatment. Choosing a specific type of therapy approach should be a collaborative process between you and your therapist. If your issues are more complex or involve the processing of trauma, a treatment modality specifically geared towards handing trauma such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) may be most helpful. Three common approaches to therapy are psychodynamic therapy, behavior therapy and systemic therapy. The Psychodynamic therapy approach focuses on understanding the past, while Behavior therapy emphasizes the correction and changing of maladaptive patterns of thinking. Systemic therapy focuses on understanding ways to strengthen the systems that are in place in a person’s life in order to create a nurturing environment that promotes growth. The experience of each is very different. Unless one or the other therapy strongly appeals to you, perhaps your best approach would be to get an initial consultation from a therapist of each camp and then decide.
First, get recommendations from several sources. These sources can include friends, colleagues, former patients, your family physician, or anyone else you respect. Compile a list of possibilities, research them online or in any way you can, and reduce the list to the two or three who seem best to you. Then, schedule an appointment for an initial evaluation with each of them. Don't feel uncomfortable about this. Be up front with what you are doing: seeing several people and trying to decide with whom you feel you will work best. Good therapists know that this approach is the best way to find a therapist, and are quite comfortable with it. Some will not charge for such a consult. The therapist's location, fee, and availability will all enter into your decision, but your main selection criterion should be who you feel comfortable with. Many empirical studies have shown that the best therapeutic results correlate strongly with the quality of the therapeutic alliance, that is, with how well the therapist and patient work with each other. So, using your personal reaction to the therapist gives you the best chance for a successful therapy experience.
Since each person has different issues and goals for therapy, the experience in therapy will be different for each 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 regression from the previous therapy session. Based on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns. Therapy can also be used to help with your desire for more personal development. Depending on your situation and desires, therapy sessions can take place as little as once every other week or as frequently as 3 times per week.
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a patient and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust between the client and therapist. Clients will be asked to discuss sensitive subject matter, with the understanding that the conversation stays between the therapist and client. Every therapist should provide a written copy of his or her confidential disclosure agreement, which explains this with more detail. This is called “Informed Consent”. However, there may be times when you want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (you’re your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney). By law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission. There are also times when your therapist may need to consult with a colleague about your case in order to help you better. In this case, your therapist will not use any identifying information when discussing your case.
There are some exceptions to confidentiality. 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 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 threated to harm another person.
Distance counseling is the delivery of counseling by mental health professionals via secure video chat, email or phone. Clients can meet with clinicians from the comfort of their own home.
Convenience- No more scrambling to get to a therapist's office. No travel time also means there's no problem fitting an appointment into your busy day.
Effectiveness- Many studies have demonstrated that online counseling can be just as effective as in-person counseling.
Privacy- There's no chance of running into anyone in the waiting room when you're meeting your therapist online.
Yes, studies from leading institutions have shown similar treatment outcomes when comparing distance counseling with face-to-face counseling. Listed below are some examples of the research studies.
The effects of online psychotherapy outlasted the results of face-to-face counseling A University of Zurich study divided a group of 62 patients in half and found that depression was eased in 53 percent of those given online therapy, compared to 50 percent who had in-person counseling. Three months after completing the study, 57 percent of online patients showed no signs of depression compared to 42 percent with conventional therapy.- — Journal of Affective Disorders, 2013 A
Canadian study shows that online therapy delivers the same satisfaction at slightly less the cost. Patients in Ontario, Canada were assigned to face-to-face or live video counseling and experienced statistically the same clinical outcome and level of patient satisfaction. The only difference was that the cost of providing the online service was 10% less per patient.— American Psychiatric Association, 2007
Online therapy may be an efficient way to provide PTSD treatment to a large group of people. A pilot study compared the effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral therapy and in-person supportive therapy in 45 Defense service members suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the September 11th attack. After eight weeks those receiving online therapy showed greater improvement. Six months after their first meeting those who had received online therapy continued to show improvement, in direct contrast to the in-person group.— American Journal of Psychiatry, November 2007
Online therapy beneficial in treating mental health problems | University of New South Wales | September 2009 In findings that could revolutionise the way psychologists treat their patients, researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and St Vincent’s Hospital have shown online treatments are just as effective as face-to-face therapies for a wide range of common mental disorders." Anxiety, social phobias and depression are all conditions that respond well to clinician-supported internet-based treatments, the researchers found, with program participants recording recovery rates comparable to those in face-to-face therapy."
Can telepsychiatry replace in-person psychiatric assessments? A review and meta-analysis of comparison studies | CNS Spectrums | May 2005 Researchers from Columbia conduct meta-analysis of 14 studies and found telepsychiatry effective: "The current meta-analysis concludes there is no difference in accuracy or satisfaction between the two modalities. Over the next few years, we expect telepsychiatry to replace I-P in certain research and clinical situations."
Yes, distance counseling is recognized and regulated by many state-licensing boards, as a legal method for counseling delivery. Although legal, unfortunately, New Jersey is behind other states in agreeing that Distance counseling is a reimbursable service.
Yes, The HELP 4 Parents Network uses a premium video chat platform. Our system is HIPAA complaint and all video and audio streams are encrypted. All of our Patients are required to create a secure login on our patient portal. This login will allow the patient and their therapist to communicate privately. This means that clients can enter a session securely, and participants can only join a video chat session if they are logged into their private patient portal and invited to the session. Please Note: For your security, we strongly recommend that you do not engage in distance counseling on public computers.
Distance counseling has many benefits, but it is not for everyone. If you have never used a video chat system like Skype (or don't even know what "Skype" is) then distance counseling may not be for you. If you consider yourself "technologically challenged", distance counseling may not be for you. Distance counseling is also not appropriate for clients with chronic mental illness, or for clients who are experiencing acute symptoms. If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
Currently, The HELP 4 Parents Network is a provider for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. We are working to join other insurance companies in the near future. However, many insurance companies in New Jersey will not reimburse for distance counseling at this time. Please call to personally discuss your insurance plan's policy on reimbursement for distance counseling. Please continue to check back periodically for updates.
Some private insurance companies do not yet consider distance counseling a reimbursable health expense. Please see our rates section for more information about our rates.
At a minimum you will need a high speed internet connection and a computer that is preferably no more that 5 years old. For video counseling, you should have a web camera and a headset with microphone.
1. For Audio- A headset is essential to improving sound quality when communicating via your computer over the internet. You will also have the option of calling in on your phone, which provides one of the best sound quality experiences. If you do use your land-line or cell phone it is recommended that you use a blue-tooth device or headset to increase comfort.
2. For Video- We recommend that you use an external HD web camera during distance counseling sessions. We recommend using Logitech web-cameras. (note: please be sure that your camera is compatible with your computer)
3. Internet Connection- If possible avoid mobile devices and mobile hotspots when engaged in distance counseling.
4. Environment- Be in a quiet and well lit room.
5. Preparation- Log in and set up your equipment ahead of time. Don't waste your time and money turning on your computer and setting up your equipment during your session. Often times when we are hurried and rushed, our computers become "mysteriously" uncooperative which increases everyone's frustration.
If you are a new client to HELP 4 Parents, you will need to create a user name and password on the secure patient portal to request an appointment. You can also call our office at 609-444-9531 to see if distance counseling would be right for you or your loved one.
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