Common Questions

Is therapy right for me?

There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, such as anxiety, depression, or abuse. Other times it is in response to life changes, like divorce, marriage, blending a family, a work transition, or death of a loved one. Many seek the support of a therapist 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 right 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 life.

What can I expect in a therapy session? 

During the first session we will complete an evaluation of your needs and history so I can get to know you better. We will next create a treatment plan to guide the focus of our sessions. Every session after that will cater to your specific needs. The frequency of appointments is up to each client, and can range from weekly, to once per month, to a check-in session as needed. Each session is scheduled for 50 minutes. Between sessions it is important to think about what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be effective, you must be an active participant, both during and between sessions.

As the therapist for a child whose parents are divorced or separated, I will require a copy of the custody decree stating sole or joint custody. I will also require contact with the other parent to receive consent for the child's treatment. Parents/guardians of underage children are required to remain in the building during each session.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life's challenges, and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist enhances personal development, improves relationships and family dynamics, and eases the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone outside of a situation to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.

Some of the benefits from therapy may include:

  • Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
  • Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
  • Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
  • Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
  • Improving ways to manage anger, depression, and anxiety
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Enhancing the overall quality of life

Who can I include in my sessions?

Because therapy is highly individualized, it is up to you to decide who, if anyone, you would like involved in your sessions. Parents must be in the building throughout sessions for their children. I collaborate with parents in the beginning of each session with their child, but I ask parents to keep in mind that I will maintain children's confidentiality. Exceptions to this are intentions of self-harm, harm to others, or reports of child and elder abuse. It is also important for parents to know that I require consent from both parents and/or guardian(s), as well as a copy of the custody decree stating sole or joint custody.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. The following questions may be helpful to ask:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
  • How much is my co-pay?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Grand Rapids Therapy, PLLC,  will submit claims to your insurance company on your behalf. You will be responsible for paying your deductible/co-pay at the time of your session. There is also a $50 charge for sessions that are cancelled with less than 24 hour notice, and when sessions are not attended without prior notice.

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communication between a client and therapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person(s). The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm him- or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety. For children, the therapist must inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) and develop a safety plan to keep the child safe.
  • In the case of divorce or separation of parents, the therapist will not share information about one parent with a parent who does not physically participate in the session. However, the non-custodial or non-accompanying parent has the legal right to be knowledgeable of the therapy for their child, including appointments, treatment plan goals, and progress, and to give or deny consent for treatment.

What do I bring to my first session?

If I will be billing your insurance on your behalf, please bring your insurance card. If I am meeting with your child and you are separated or divorced from your child's other legal parent, please bring documentation identifying joint or legal custody. 

Prior to your first session, I will ask you to complete a packet in my portal designed to collect consent, provide necessary information about confidentiality, and collect billing information. If you are unable to complete this prior to your session, I can provide these forms for you to complete in the beginning of your first session. 

Any additional questions?

If yes, call me up and let's chat about it! If no, let's get you a cup or coffee or tea, pet Gino, and get to work on making your life how you want it to be.