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Therapy F.A.Q.'s



QUESTION - Why should I consider seeking therapy?

ANSWER - Therapy is for everyone. If you are stuck, struggling, or overwhelmed with any area of your life, or if you are wanting growth, healing and greater joy, seeking therapy can be a wonderful answer. Perhaps you are dealing with feeling anxious, sad, hurt, angry, depressed, frustrated or confused. Maybe you are struggling in your relationships and in communicating with your partner, family, children, parents, friends, or co-workers. Maybe something has happened to you that you need to sort through. You may be pro-actively looking for prevention by getting help with an issue before it gets larger and more difficult to manage. Or maybe you are simply searching for self-improvement, ways to take strengths and make them even stronger and more enriching. Therapy can be a helpful, effective, and confidential resource to help you to experience greater peace, joy, power, and freedom in your life.


QUESTION - Am I "sick" or "crazy" if I seek therapy?

ANSWER - Most definitely not. That is an out-dated notion, but some people still worry about the stigma of therapy. All of us face a series of normal, expected developmental stages, each posing its own challenges. Changes, stresses, and problems can be expected from life and any relationship. The fact is, it takes strength and courage to seek help, particularly when something has become overwhelming. People who seek therapy are willing to invest their time and energy into making their life and the lives of those around them, better. There is no need to ever feel embarrassed or ashamed about seeking therapy-it means you have integrity and deserve respect.


QUESTION - How can therapy help?

ANSWER - Therapy is a journey that evolves with you and your therapist working together toward common goals and exploring issues to promote your growth and healing. It can be an exciting adventure-sometimes exhilarating and sometimes difficult. It can provide techniques and insightful feedback for changing what can be changed, and learning to cope with what can't. Therapy can help you to see things from a different perspective, work through emotional issues that may be keeping you stuck, and learn new ways of behaving and interacting with others. The therapy process can be rewarding and life-changing.


QUESTION - Is therapy confidential?

ANSWER - Yes. With a few exceptions, what you share with your therapist is strictly confidential. Your therapist takes great care in protecting the privacy of your information and records. You should be aware that there are some legal limitations to confidentiality under very specific circumstances that are outlined in the Informed Consent form you will be given at your first session. In addition, you and your therapist will define how to handle confidentiality if others are included in the therapy process. If you ever have questions or concerns about confidentiality, be sure to ask your therapist.


QUESTION - What happens in a first therapy session?

ANSWER - The first therapy session is important for determining a number of things. You and your therapist will take time to get to know each other-sharing background and beginning to define the goals for therapy. It is a good opportunity for your therapist to acquaint you with, and for you to ask questions about, the therapy process. It's not at all unusual for clients to feel a little nervous coming to the first appointment, but by the end of the session you should feel much more comfortable. It is important that you and your therapist assess whether she is the appropriate person to work with you, and that you believe you can work well together. By the end of the first session, your therapist will provide some initial feedback and suggestions for your future work together.


QUESTION - What about subsequent sessions?

ANSWER - Generally, sessions are scheduled once a week, but in some cases sessions are scheduled more or less frequently. What is discussed in therapy in subsequent sessions depends a lot on the goals for therapy. The length of therapy, of course, depends on various factors, including the number and seriousness of the problems. About 65% of clients complete therapy within 15-20 sessions.


QUESTION - What is the therapist's role in sessions?

ANSWER - The primary role of a therapist is to empower her clients. She acts as a guide and facilitator, supporting you in finding your own answers and solutions. She is there to ask the right questions and provide direction and guidance where appropriate. She will help you to establish and achieve your goals, sometimes in unexpected ways, through supporting growth and change, and encouraging the use of strengths and resources already present.


QUESTION - What is my role in sessions?

ANSWER - You will benefit the most from therapy if you come openly and honestly, and are motivated and committed to getting help. You may find that therapy at times becomes difficult or stressful-this is often true when dealing with issues and change. At those times and as long as therapy is still helping, your role is to stick with it and keep trying. Be sure to speak up if you have any questions or concerns that come up along the way with the therapy process. You will find that your therapist is receptive to open communication and feedback.


QUESTION - What if my partner/spouse/ family won't participate?

ANSWER - Not all family members have to take part in sessions for therapy to be effective. Of course, it's better if all affected parties are willing to participate, but they often get involved in therapy later if they see your motivation and commitment. If your loved ones still will not join therapy, come anyway. Therapy with one person still can be effective in making changes that can have positive effects on everyone around you.


QUESTION - How do I find and choose a therapist?

ANSWER - The most common ways to find a therapist are through recommendations by your physician, clergy or friend, Yellow Pages advertising, or online sites and searches. Look for a therapist who is trained, skilled and experienced in the areas for which you are seeking help. But probably the most important consideration is the therapeutic relationship and connection that develops between you and your therapist. Choose someone with whom you feel truly comfortable and connected. You may get a sense for this while talking with a potential therapist over the phone, but ultimately you will want to schedule a session to make sure it's a good fit.


QUESTION - What is a Marriage & Family Therapist?

ANSWER - The field of Marriage and Family Therapy is recognized by the U.S. Federal Government as a core mental health profession, along with Psychiatry, Psychology, and Social Work. To receive State Licensure, a Marriage and Family Therapist, or MFT, must be a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), the organization that develops standards for the education and training of MFT's. The Federal Government and all 50 States have utilized AAMFT's standards and strict Code of Ethics when drafting laws regarding mental health. MFT's are trained in psychotherapy and Family Systems theory, based on the scientific findings that individuals and their problems are best seen in context, and most importantly, the context of the family.


QUESTION - What kinds of problems does a Marriage & Family Therapist treat?

ANSWER - MFT's treat many different kinds of problems, including individual, marital and family issues. MFT's are trained in diagnosis, assessment and treatment, using a variety of therapeutic techniques and processes. They are effective in helping treat emotional and behavioral problems as well as relationship issues. MFT's focus on understanding their clients' symptoms and the patterns of interaction with family and friends that may contribute to the problem. MFT's often ask questions about roles, dynamics, rules, goals, beliefs, and stages of development.


QUESTION - Why should I consider Dr. Erickson for my Indianapolis therapist?

ANSWER - Dr. Erickson is a highly trained, skilled, and experienced Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years in private practice. She brings warmth, caring, and compassion to therapy, balanced with straight-forward honesty and directness. She is non-judgmental, open-minded, and listens attentively; yet, she is not afraid to provide insightful, and sometimes challenging, feedback and recommendations. Dr. Erickson has an unending faith in clients' ability to transform their lives. And a good sense of humor is enriching to any important journey.


Are you in need of, or considering an Indianapolis therapist or counselor?

PLEASE CALL with any concerns or questions

Dr. Erickson will gladly speak with you personally!

(317) 875-9555