Starting therapy is a big step and something that a lot of people find intimidating. While it can be scary to pursue therapy, it can also be the key to a more fulfilled and satisfying life.
It’s normal to have many questions about the process. Here are some questions frequently asked about therapy and counseling…
Frequently Asked Questions
Therapy works. Working with a qualified therapist can help you refocus your priorities and provide clarity. Therapy can help provide support while you make changes and set boundaries so that you can have more control in your life. You have the chance to sit down and identify patterns and behaviors that aren’t working in your life. You will learn new skills and build a relationship in therapy to support you through the difficult transitions in life.
The results of therapy can be lasting and maintained so true change is possible.
What is therapy?
Therapy, or psychotherapy, involves a process of consistent and regular sessions with a licensed mental health provider for the purpose of resolving past trauma, changing behaviors that are no longer working, and processing things that have been road blocks. Therapy provides a safe and confidential space to process whatever might be interfering with your life. Therapy focuses on feelings, thoughts, beliefs, patterns, values, attitudes, and relationships.
Therapy can be individual where a person meets one-on-one with the therapist, a family session where multiple members of a family meet with the therapist, a couples session where a couple (this could include a married couple, a partnership, a divorced couple, a mother daughter pair, or some other combination) meet with the therapist, or a group where several individuals meet together with one or more therapists. It’s possible for a person to engage in more than one type of therapy.
In our opinion, the most important part of therapy is the relationship between the client and the therapist. It’s very important that you trust and respect your therapist and know that the therapist is being truthful and showing respect for your needs. You might not always like your therapist because sometimes your therapist may point out some difficult things. But there should always be an underlying presence of trust and respect.
Is therapy confidential?
What is the difference between psychotherapy, counseling and coaching?
While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are a few important but subtle distinctions. We tend to think of psychotherapy (or therapy), as a potentially long-term relationship where a person can look at long-standing patterns and dynamics that might be replaying and preventing the person from achieving maximum satisfaction in the areas of career, relationship, or personal fulfillment. Only licensed mental health providers with a Master’s degree or higher (like the therapists at Omaha Psychotherapy) can provide therapy services.
We think of counseling as focusing on one specific problem or area. This work might be short-term and involve a counselor offering advice and guidance while a person is trying to achieve a goal. A counselor doesn’t necessarily have to be a licensed mental health provider–ministers provide spiritual counseling, financial advisors provide financial counseling, and attorneys provide legal counseling.
Coaching typically involves looking at future goals and working on developing specific tools. Coaching is usually short-term and doesn’t require any mental health diagnosis. Most health insurance plans do not pay for coaching.
As licensed therapists and mental health providers, we are qualified to provide therapy, counseling, and coaching.
What do the letters after your names mean?
There are many educational paths and professional programs that can prepare someone to become a therapist, so it’s not uncommon to see a variety of letters behind someone’s name.
You’ll find a variety of letters after our names, including LIMHP, LMHP, LICSW, and CGP. LICSW stands for Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Clinical social workers have earned Master’s degrees in social work from an accredited university and then completed many hours of supervised clinical training along with a comprehensive state licensing test.
As an LICSW, Hannah is licensed to provide individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy and counseling, to diagnose and treat mental health issues, and to bill insurance companies for her services. She is also licensed to practice independently.
LMHP is a license specific to Nebraska which stands for Licensed Independent Mental Health Provider. This license is renewed every two years. As an LMHP, Chris is qualified to provide individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy, to diagnose and treat mental health issues, and to bill insurance. She is also trained and certified in EMDR.
The letters, CGP, after Hannah’s name stand for Certified Group Psychotherapist. She earned this distinction from the American Group Psychotherapy Association after completing specialized education, training and experience in group psychotherapy. Currently, Hannah is one of only five people in the state of Nebraska with this certification.
What can’t you do?
As licensed mental health providers, we can’t prescribe medication. We do work with several qualified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners who can prescribe medication, and we often collaborate and refer clients. It’s possible for someone to see us for therapy and to also work with another provider for medication.
While we have experience working with many issues and problems, we also know our limitations. We have several strong relationships with other mental health providers in Omaha and refer to each other often. If we think you might be a better fit with another therapist, or if we don’t have experience with your area of concern, we’ll let you know and will provide a prompt referral.
How long does therapy last?
There’s no cookie cutter approach to therapy. Typically, each session lasts about an hour and most people find it most helpful to meet once a week. We believe that in order for real and lasting changes to occur and for that change to sustain, it’s helpful to commit to participating in at least six months of consistent therapy. This varies from person to person. Sometimes people can accomplish a great deal in a short time, and other people find it helpful to continue in therapy for a few years. During your first session we will discuss your individual goals and determine a plan for your treatment including estimating the length of treatment.
How much does therapy cost?
Some people choose to pay for therapy out of pocket, and others choose to use health insurance benefits for therapy. Therapists at Omaha Psychotherapy are on a variety of health insurance panels and are also an out-of-network provider for some other insurance companies. You may be responsible for a co-payment, co-insurance, and/or deductible. We encourage everyone to contact their insurance company to learn about benefits before our first session.
We also accept private payment if you do not wish to use insurance. If you choose to pay privately, we are not required to report any information to your insurance company.
Our current regular fees are listed here. We accept cash, checks, all major credit cards and Health Savings Account plans. We take payment for each session at the time of your session.
Initial Intake and Evaluation Session: $180
Individual Session (One hour): $150
Family Session (60-90 minutes): $150
Group Session (90 minutes): $50
Phone or Skype Consultation: $100/hour, prorated for actual call length
(Please note: insurance will not authorize payment for most phone or skype sessions)
Late Cancel or No Show: $75
Returned Check Fee: $25