How long does this take? How often do we meet?
We can work together in therapy for as long - or as briefly - as you want. If you have a specific issue that we can directly address, it is more likely that we will be able to make significant progress in a few months. If you want to work on changing more pervasive life or relationship patterns, it will likely take longer. After our first few sessions, we will have a better sense.
In most cases, I recommend that we meet weekly. This way we can build the understanding and trust that make up a good working relationship. Meeting weekly also gives you time to apply what you discover in our sessions. In crisis situations, we may want to meet more frequently. Once you have made significant strides toward your goals, we may decide to meet bi-weekly or monthly to solidify your progress. Alternately, you may choose to wrap up at any time, knowing that you can come back in whenever you want.
Isn't therapy expensive?
Therapy is an investment in a happier, richer life. My rates are in line with other psychologists in the area. I have a few lower-fee times available for clients who cannot afford my regular fee.
Most of my clients find that therapy helps them be more effective in love and work. I can help you to see where you are limiting yourself, to find ways to tap into more support, and to be more successful. I may also be able to help you see your finances (and your life) in a way that feels less constrained. My goal is that you leave therapy feeling richer both emotionally and financially.
Can I use my insurance?
If you have a PPO plan, you can use it to get out-of-network benefits. I can talk you through what that means to you. You also can contact your benefits administrator for a summary of your mental health benefits. I am not in-network for any HMO plans.
Won’t talking about all of this stuff just make it worse?
You don't have to talk about anything in therapy that you don't want to. Often people make great progress with me without ever talking about their childhood or 'deep' issues.
If it becomes clear that things from your past are significantly affecting you now, you will likely find it a relief to get it out, understand it, and deal with it. Turning on the light may reveal some uncomfortable things, but it's better than stumbling around in the dark.
Will other people find out? Could someone hold this against me in the future?
What we discuss in therapy is nobody's business but your own. Unless someone is at significant risk and I need to act to keep them safe, I will keep our conversations strictly confidential. However, if you use insurance, the insurance company will get information about our sessions. If that is a major concern, you might want to consider paying privately.
What about medication?
This, again, is a personal decision. Depending on your situation, medication may be an option you wish to consider. Generally speaking, psychotherapy provides longer-term benefit than medication, but the effects of medication are sometimes felt sooner. For people who are in acute distress, both together are often recommended. Of course, it is possible to start with one and add the other later. If you want to try medications, I can recommend a psychiatrist. If you are currently under a doctor's care, we can discuss how to coordinate your care.
Really, is it worth it?
I have been repeatedly inspired by how clients have used therapy to make significant changes in their lives. For most people, the benefits continue to accrue long after they leave therapy. You only get one life. Most people find that therapy makes it a richer and happier one.
Are you the right therapist for me?
This is a great question. Many people find that they can get a good sense of whether we will be a good fit from reading through my website or from talking with me on the phone. Give me a call at (510) 652-5253 or email me at DrTedObbard@Gmail.com and we can talk a bit about your situation and how we would work together.