Barbara James, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Child, Adolescent, and Adult Therapy


How can therapy help me?
Many benefits are available from partici-
pating in therapy. Therapists 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, etc.
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 fresh perspectives on difficult problems and help
you to achieve resolution. I always say,
"What you put into therapy, you get back out."  That's why it's important to make a
commitment to personal growth and full participation.   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 stressors
  • Improving communication and listening skills
  • Recognizing and changing old behavior patterns/developing more healthy ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.  
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life and most of the time we are able to handle it ourselves.  But sometimes we need extra knowledge and support. Therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that there's nothing wrong with seeking help.  By seeking therapy, you are taking responsibility by making a commitment to change the situation. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome the challenges you face. 

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?

People come to psychotherapy for many reasons.   Some may be going through major life transitions (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as childhood abuse/neglect, domestic violence, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts, etc.  Therapy can provide needed encouragement and education about life management skills to help them live a more functional, fulfilling life.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with reaching life goals.  
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, personal history relevant to your issues, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term for a specific issue or longer-term to address  patterns or behaviors that aren't working in your life.
It's important to understand that you get better results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you apply what you learn in session into your personal life.  Also, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest assignments you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?  
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause are best treated with medication and psychotherapy.  Instead of treating only the symptoms, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that are barriers to our progress. Some clients don't want to take medication and can learn different strategies for improving/managing their symptoms through participating in therapy.  Deciding whether to take medication is a personal choice and is at your discretion.
Do you take insurance and how does that work?
I take most forms of insurance including Medicare and Medicaid.  You can call your insurance company to check benefits.  The therapist's office will also call to verify coverage and benefits. 

Some helpful questions you can ask your insurance company are:
  • 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 referral required from my primary care physician? 
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is the most important component between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust between therapist and client.  This is due to the deeply personal subject matters being discussed.   Confidentiality is discussed at the beginning of the first session and the therapist will not release your records without your written consent except in special circumstances.   Sometimes, you may want your therapist to share information/give updates to someone on your healthcare team (your doctor, psychiatrist, etc.) but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
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. 
*Subpoena by a court of law.


Mental Health Links
The following links are listed to provide you with additional online mental health care information and counseling resources.

Addiction and Recovery
Alcoholics Anonymous
Center for On-Line Addiction
Habit Smart
SAMHSA's Substance Abuse/Addiction
SAMHSA's Treatment and Recovery
Web of Addictions

Anxiety Disorders
Answers to Your Questions About Panic Disorder
National Center for PTSD
Obsessive Compulsive Information Center

Associations & Institutes
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Counseling Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
American Psychological Society
Canadian Mental Health Association
Center for Mental Health Services
National Institute of Mental Health
National Mental Health Association
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADDA - Attention Deficit Disorder Association
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, NIMH
Born to Explore: The Other Side of ADD/ADHD

Child Abuse and Domestic Violence
Childhelp USA®
Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse
The National Domestic Violence Hotline Website
Women, Violence and Trauma

Chronic Fatigue
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Bipolar Disorder News -
Depression and How Therapy Can Help
Depression Screening
Depression Test, Symptoms of Depression, Signs of Depression

Developmental Disorders
Asperger's Disorder
Pervasive Developmental Disorders

DSM-IV-TR: Diagnoses and Criteria

Dissociation and Traumatic Stress
Sidran Foundation Home Page

Eating Disorders
American Dietetic Association
Something Fishy

Journals & Magazines
ADHD Report
Anxiety, Stress and Coping
Contemporary Hypnosis
Depression and Anxiety
Drug and Alcohol Review
Early Child Development and Care
Eating Disorders
Educational Assessment
Journal of Gambling Studies
Journal of Happiness Studies
Journal of Mental Health and Aging
Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Language and Cognitive Processes
Loss, Grief & Care
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Metaphor and Symbol
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
Personal Relationships
Personality and Individual Differences
Psychiatric Bulletin
Psychology of Men & Masculinity
Psychology Today
Stress and Health
Studies in Gender and Sexuality
Substance Abuse
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Trauma, Violence & Abuse

Medications and Health Supplements
Drug Interactions, Alternative, MotherNature
Drug Interactions, DIRECT
Medical Dictionary
Medications, FDA
Medication, Internet Mental Health
Medications, PDR
Medline, Comparison
SAMHSA's Psychiatry and Psychology

Mental Health Care General Links
Internet Mental Health
Let’s Talk Facts, APA
Mental Health Counselor Resources,
Mental Help Net
Mental Illnesses/Disorders
University of Michigan Health Topics A to Z
Web Sites You Can Trust, Medical Library Association

Personality Disorders
Mental Help Net - Personality Disorders
Personality Disorders - Focus Adolescent

Suicide Awareness and Hotlines
SAMHSA's Suicide
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
Suicide: Read This First

Additional Mental Health Care & Counseling Resources
Interpretation of Dreams
Keirsey (Myers-Briggs) Temperament Sorter
Signs of Menopause, Symptoms of Menopause

Not responsible for the content, claims or representations of the listed sites.

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