Frequently Asked Questions

Who seeks psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is for anyone who realizes that their life could be better but they are not sure how to get there. If you have some of the following thoughts, you may benefit from psychotherapy:

  •  Stress is getting the best of me, and I worry all the time. Sometimes I feel completely out of control.
  • My emotional reactions are really intense. I worry that if others really knew how I think and feel it would ruin my personal and professional relationships.
  •  I have a constant feeling that I am not doing anything right.
  • My mind seems scattered, and I am unable to stay focused. It has started to affect my life and I can’t even sleep well anymore.
  • Since a particular event, I feel tied up in knots inside and exhausted.
  • I am constantly worried about my weight. I am either on diet or I should be on diet.
  • I have so much to do but I procrastinate.
  •  I can’t get over what happened, I don’t even know who I am anymore.
  •  I constantly worry about what others think of me, and I try so hard to please others that I have lost myself.
  • Life doesn’t seem exciting anymore and I worry that I will never be happy ever again.

If any of these apply to you please do not hesitate to give us a call and discuss some options for psychotherapy.

What are some of the issues that may be discussed?

  • Life Transitions such as: having a baby, separation, loss, relocation, retirement
  •  Relationship issues
  •  Self Esteem issues
  •  Work Performance, Career concerns
  •  Problems with Anger
  •  Persistent Worry, Anxiety, Anxiety Attacks, Panic, Phobia
  •  Struggle with Obsessions, Compulsions, Addictions
  •  Identity Confusion, Sexual Identity, Sexuality
  •  Body Image issues, Dieting, Overweight issues
  •  Eating Disorders
  • Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic Illness or Medical Illness fuelling psychological issues
  •  Depression, Apathy, Sadness, Loss of meaning in life
  •  Restless nights, problems with falling asleep, and staying asleep

Isn't psychotherapy for weak and crazy people?

You may be reluctant to seek therapy, but staying stuck reliving the same hurts is not a good idea either. Here are some common thoughts and beliefs that may be keeping you from taking charge and doing something to improve your life. I should be able to handle my own problems.

You are capable of handling your own problems. Actually, you are the one developing plans and finding solutions to your issues. We believe that the psychotherapist is only the facilitator of change. When you feel stuck or hopeless or when you lose your perspective, we can help you remove emotional obstacles, clarify your intentions and find out what it is you want. However, we will encourage you to be an active participant to your own therapy.

I am not weak or crazy, therapy is for crazy people.

Actually not. Asking for help when you need it shows more weakness than making good use of a helping hand. Asking for help is the first step towards improvement and effective problem solution does not indicate craziness or weakness of character.

On the contrary seeking therapy will allow you to gain perspective and getting to know yourself better. It will help you tap into your own resources and teach you how to manage your inner world in a way that suits your life better. It will empower you to become aware of what tools you need to safeguard yourself from similar issues in the future.
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My problem isn't that bad. There are people with bigger problems. I will feel guilty complaining about it.

Some of your problems may not feel as big or as important when you compare them with the tragedies we see around us every day. However, if a problem in the way of you feeling happiness and free to enjoy life then it is big enough and i is important that you pay attention to it. In therapy your unique situation will be of the sole focus of our attention until you issue is resolved.

What would my friends think if they find out I am seeing a therapist?

Psychotherapy is completely confidential. Unless you are required by law no information will be shared and your privacy will be fully protected. It is possible that your friends have also been to a therapist or may benefit from doing so.

Should I tell my family and friends that I am seeing a therapist?

You do not have to tell anyone if you don’t want to. If this is issues for you just bring the topic up in your next therapy session and examine your intentions with the help of your therapist.

How much will it cost me?

Health insurance companies understand the benefits of mental health treatment. If you call your health insurance you may want to find out about your mental health benefits. In most cases they cover some or all of the expense. We are in network with most heath insurance networks and EAP programs.

What is the process for scheduling an appointment?

The first step is to just contact us. Call us at River Walk Counseling (509-396-3488) or send us an email through **riverwalkcounseling@gmail.com. You do not need a referral to schedule an appointment.

Can I talk with you before I decide what to do?

Absolutely, it is important that you feel that you can communicate well with the therapist you select. You may want to interview different therapists until you find the right fit for you.If you decide to contact me we could discuss things over the phone or we could meet at my office for 15-20 minutes, free of charge. I will answer any of your questions to the best of my ability.

What should I expect at my first appointment for individual therapy?

When you make that first phone contact we will schedule an initial appointment for you. Usually the initial appointment is mostly an information gathering appointment rather than a therapy session and lasts about 50 minutes to 1 hour. For any following appointments we will find time that is mutually available and in most cases we will meet on a weekly basis. If you need to reschedule kindly give 24 hour notice to allow another client to use this time slot.At the first appointment you will need about 5-10 minutes to complete some of the required forms. We may give you an additional questionnaire packet to take and complete at home. These forms are important because they provide information to your therapist so that the focus of the appointment will clarify your concerns, needs and goals for therapy.

In this initial session the therapist will ask many questions in order to gather the information to determine how best to help you. Based on your forms and our discussions we will determine the treatment options best suited for your situation. If you decide to continue we will work together for several weeks. In most cases 6-8 weeks is enough time for progress to be made. It is not uncommon that to continue to work on deeper issues and stay in treatment for a longer time.

You may decide that you do not wish to continue with us following your initial appointment. You are not obligated to continue therapy with us. However, we will be happy to make a referral or direct you to appropriate resources in our community. If you have additional questions for your first appointment please don’t hesitate to call our office at 509-396-3488.

How confidential is what we discuss?

Therapy is confidential. All information you share, whether it is information in our records about you or even the fact that you have come to see us, cannot be shared with others. No one outside our office will have access to your records without your prior written permission. However, as is required by law in the State of WA information may be appropriately shared when the following conditions exist:

  •  If you present an imminent threat of harm to yourself or others, or
  •  When there is an indication of abuse of a child, dependent adult, or elderly adult, of you become gravely disabled, or
  •  If information is required by a court subpoena or court order

Although these are rare exceptions and may not apply to your situation if you have any questions please do not hesitate to discuss them with us.

We don't talk about family issues outside the home. If my son/daughter goes to the therapist how much do they have to share?

In many families it is common to keep problems within the family environment. However, for issues to be resolved you will have to discuss them in therapy. A psychotherapist is a professional who is trained to help you with this particular issue or to direct you to the appropriate resources that will provide you with the help you need.

What services do you provide?

  1. At this time we provide:
    Individual Psychotherapy for adolescence, young adults, and older adults
  2. Group Therapy for Women:
    We need members for two new groups forming:
    – Happiness after Separation or Divorce
    – Manage your Weight
  3. Consultation for those who worry about a significant other like a spouse or a child but do not know what to do or how to help them.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a dynamic form of therapy that is very beneficial for many interpersonal issues because brings powerful results. Groups can be especially beneficial for those who need to improve their relationship skills, are depressed, anxious or have resourceful coping skills.We hold open groups limited to 7-8 members. Our groups meet once a week for approximately 1 and 1/2 hours. Before the group starts we will have a brief meeting for a pre-group screening and orientation session. The purpose is to provide information about the group, and to determine if group therapy is the best way to work on your concerns.

Even if you are nervous at first about joining the group you soon discover that it may be the best approach for your particular concerns. There are two or three different groups that are offered at a time and we can help you explore the options for group work.

What exactly is individual therapy?

It is therapy focused exclusively on your issues and tailored to fit your individual needs. This is collaborative work and in our therapy you will be an active participant. Initially we will work together towards identifying you needs.

I will ask you questions to gather information on current issues as well as historical data if it is relevant and helpful for your progress. I will help you identify obstacles and develop successful goals. As a result you will get to know yourself and manage your internal life more efficiently. You will have opportunities to learn new skills and new coping mechanisms while also increase your self-awareness, self-understanding and insight.Together we will examine past patterns that will help you improve your relationships, your decision making skills and your emotional health. Our goal is to help you understand your own strengths and abilities to manage life’s challenges most effectively.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a dynamic form of therapy that is very beneficial for many interpersonal issues because brings powerful results. Groups can be especially beneficial for those who need to improve their relationship skills, are depressed, anxious or have resourceful coping skills.We hold open groups limited to 7-8 members. Our groups meet once a week for approximately 1 and 1/2 hours. Before the group starts we will have a brief meeting for a pre-group screening and orientation session. The purpose is to provide information about the group, and to determine if group therapy is the best way to work on your concerns.

Even if you are nervous at first about joining the group you soon discover that it may be the best approach for your particular concerns. There are two or three different groups that are offered at a time and we can help you explore the options for group work.

What is the cost for Group Therapy?

Most insurance companies cover therapy group costs since group therapy is a traditional and successful way of treatment. Also, most insurance plans will allow for a member to have both group and individual sessions. Please ask your insurance mental health benefits for your benefits.

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