How much does therapy cost?
Several variables play a role in the cost of treatment for mental illness: (1) education and experience of provider; (2) type and length of therapy; (3) geographical location.
What are the disadvantages of a managed care plan?
– Pre-approval is required before starting treatment.
– You must tell an insurance company representative about your problem to be approved, no matter how embarrassed you are to talk about it.
– You are limited to panel or network providers, and sometimes have no choice at all. Often there are many more therapists with less training and experience.
– Network providers may not be conveniently located.
– Network providers may not have appointment times available that fit your schedule.
– You may have to wait weeks for an appointment.
– Network providers may not have expertise in treating your problem.
– Network providers may have less education and experience than other local professionals.
– There is limited confidentiality. The managed care company receives treatment summaries with details of your problem and treatment.
– Treatment is usually more time-limited than in POS coverage.
– You must receive authorization for all treatment.
– The provider may be reluctant to ask for more treatment sessions because it is a “hassle.”
– Non-authorized or non-approved treatment will not be covered.
– Type of treatment and length of treatment must be approved by managed care.
– If you appeal managed care limits, coverage (and treatment) must wait for the appeal.
What is the difference between the medical model and the psychological model used to explain psychological problems?
Medical model – All psychological problems/disorders have a physical symptom profile, therefore the condition is a physical (medical) problem.Psychological model – The separation between physical and psychological problems is artificial, because these two facets are present in almost all human experiences. Psychological problems can be caused by environmental, physical or psychological factors. All human conditions have physical components, and all medical/health conditions have emotional or psychological components. For example, stress and depression play a role in recovery from surgery, psychotherapy improves cancer recovery, and people with a chronic medical condition will experience psychological distress because of the impact the illness has on their life.In reality, giving someone a pill does not get rid of the psychological problem, it only masks the symptoms. The cause of the emotional response is psychological, and treatment of the cause should be psychological treatment. That is, “I am worried about my health, and I become anxious about doctors’ appointments.” Taking a pill helps me feel better physically, but I am still worried about my health. If I talked to a psychologist about my concerns, I would probably feel better, and worry less, and I would not need to take a pill to feel better!Rather than eliminating psychological treatment for problems like depression and anxiety, and relying only on medications, we should be providing psychological treatment as a first option for psychological problems, and relying on medication only when necessary. Further, we should also be providing psychological treatment to people with serious medical conditions, along with their medical treatment. Research has consistently showed a positive effect on recovery from physical illness, when psychological counseling is provided to people with serious medical illnesses, in addition to traditional medical treatment.
What about the confidentiality of my sessions and records?
Successful therapy requires that you be honest and open with your therapist. As a safeguard to you and the information that you share with your therapist, the state of California provides a legal statute which protects the confidentiality of the information that you disclose to your therapist. Your attendance in therapy, the verbal disclosures you make to your therapist, any written or other documentation you give to your therapist, and all of your therapist’s clinical notes are protected as confidential information.There are, however, circumstances when your therapist may be required by law to break confidentiality, such as in the case of reporting suspected child abuse, elder abuse or dependent adult abuse. Additionally, confidentiality may be broken when a therapist believes that the patient is in such mental or emotional condition as to be a danger to self or others.
When is medication appropriate?
Psychotropic medications are those whose primary purpose is to effect positive change in the person’s psychological, behavioral, cognitive, and/or emotional functioning. Medication is suggested when symptoms are so intense that the person’s functioning is severely disrupted and the client is unable to contain the symptoms without biochemical help.
What are the differences between therapy and medication in terms of treatment and outcome?
Therapy and medication are not necessarily rivals, and are often used together for the maximum benefit of the client. There are some disorders where medications are almost always used, such as with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder). Those suffering from other disorders, such as those related to depression and anxiety, can benefit from medication, even if it only serves as a temporary fix until the effects of therapy take hold.Those who oppose the increased use of medication for the treatment of mental disorders argue that they provide a quick fix but do not address the underlying issues involved. In other words, medication covers up the symptoms without getting at the disorder. Therapy, on the other hand can be focused on both the symptoms and the underlying issues.In summary, medication is the treatment of choice, although often combined with therapy, for disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Medications typically work faster than therapy but once discontinued, the symptoms will return unless the underlying issues are resolved. Therapy is a slower process and results may not be felt as quickly, but it is a longer term solution for many mental health issues.
How many sessions should therapy require?
The length of therapy is determined by the combination of:
– personality characteristics of the person seeking help;
– longevity and type of issue being addressed
– amount and effectiveness of support the person has in effort to accomplish goals;
– types of goals being sought after;
– therapist’s theoretical orientation and style;
– effectiveness of the therapist
– Frequency of sessions.We suggest to clients to commit for up to 12 sessions, at which time, the client and therapist or life-coach will evaluate the advisability of terminating or continuing therapy or life-coaching.
What is my role as a client in order to get the most out of my sessions?
Clients who derive the greatest benefit from therapy or life-coaching are generally those individuals who are motivated to change and accept that they are primarily responsible for the changes and growth that they desire.
– Clients who are willing to establish a trusting relationship with the therapist or life-coach.
– Clients who are open to learning.
– Clients who come consistently to their sessions, are ready to bring up important topics, actively listen and participate.
– Engage in tasks given by the therapist or life-coach to complete in between sessions, and try out new thoughts and behaviors that arise during sessions.
– Are willing to take the risks and face the uneasiness that accompanies change, which includes confronting long-term inner fears, conflicts and aspects of life that feel difficult to overcome.
– Recognize the difference between what they are responsible for and can change, and those situations that are beyond their control.
What characteristics should I look for in a therapist?
Academic and professional training that includes a minimum of a masters degree (M.A., M.S., M.S.W.) or doctoral level (Ph.D., Psy.D., M.D.).
– Licensed to practice in your state (clinical psychologist, marriage & family therapist, licensed clinical social worker).
– Personal characteristics and relational style with which you feel safe, comfortable and understood.
– Works with the whole person including the spiritual, psychological, physical, and relational aspects of your being.
– Adequate level of experience, years in practice and demonstrated competence with the issues for which you are seeking help.
– Practices according to highest ethical standards regarding confidentiality, fees, and professional boundaries.
– Good reputation among colleagues, peers and community.
– Member in good standing of the professional associations that is appropriate to the therapist’s license and practice.
What happens in a typical therapy session?
A typical therapy session can be characterized by a safe discussion on topics that may involve areas of concern, self-discovery and/or self-improvement. The focus of therapy sessions are to produce positive transformation by attaining the client’s individualized goals. Clients may be asked to engage in various exercises inside and outside of session to apply new skills utilizing visualization, writing, role-playing, reading, and/or watching an educational video.