Most people have a lot of questions when they are first considering therapy. How does it work? Is it right for me? Do I really need it? What should I expect?
This area answers most of those questions that come up when clients are considering therapy. If you still have questions that aren't answered here, please contact us and we will be happy to give you all the information you need!
Is therapy confidential?
The law protects the confidentiality of all communications between you and the therapists. No information is disclosed without prior written consent from you the client.
There are exceptions required by law to this rule. These exceptions include:
Child abuse or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate agencies in the State of Florida.
Duty to warn, which means if a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. We are required to notify the appropriate authorities.
If a client intends to harm him self or her self we will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures will need to be taken.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully. Its your responsibility to make sure you have coverage and the type of coverage you have. We encourage you to contact your provider before your fist visit.
Several questions you may want to consider are:
- Do you have a deductible and if so how much?
- How many therapy sessions does your plan cover?
- Does your insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Do you need preauthorization?
Are we the right therapists for you?
Ask the right questions. Interview all potential therapists and find out if they are what you are looking for. Read our biographical information on the "Therapists" page. We believe:
- Therapy is a process of choosing the life you want to live and staying close to the people you need.
- Therapy is a process of teaching you how to have a satisfying relationship.
- Therapy is a process of improving the quality of your life.
- Therapy preserves and strengthens your relationships with children/teens.
- Therapy helps you understand yourself and others.
What if my family/spouse won't participate?
Not all family members must take part in therapy. Uninterested family members often get involved in the therapy if there is at least one motivated person in the family.
Do I have to be married or have a family?
No. Individuals also seek marriage and family therapy to work on issues that may be preventing them from having a relationship or to work on issues from a marriage or relationship that has ended. Pre-martial therapy has also become popular.
How do I know I need help?
The signs are not always obvious, but some distress signals to look for are:
- Persistent feelings of dissatisfaction with your marriage or family life
- Problems with a child's behavior, school adjustment or performance
- Sexual problems or concerns
- Emotional distance from loved ones
- Feelings of loneliness, moodiness, depression, failure, anxiety
- Problems with alcohol or drugs
- Sense that talking no longer helps
- Unmanageable anger, hostility, or violence
- Pain in your head, neck, or stomach
- More emphasis placed on performance, accolades, and status, than on your own well being
- Discipline based on pampering or coercing a child
What is marriage and family therapy?
A marriage and family therapist (MFT) works primarily with individuals, couples, families, and groups from a systemic perspective, one that requires expertise in interpersonal relationships, interaction dynamics, system theory and thinking, and special conceptualization and procedures that are distinct from individually oriented therapies. Marriage and family therapy is conducted from a systemic perspective regardless of how many clients attend therapy or the particular training degree of the therapist. This definition distinguishes marriage and family therapy from non-systemic therapy with couples or families.
Marriage and family therapy focuses on solving problems in relationships - between couples, parents and children, siblings, in-laws, grandparents and the rest of the extended family. The therapy works to improve the relationships between people and increase understanding of family roles, patterns, rules, goals and stages of development. The professional marriage and family therapist is trained to strengthen relationships, and thereby prevent problems from arising as well as increase the quality of marriage and family life and other relationships.
Marriage and family therapist are there to help with any kind of relationship that exist between individuals. This includes premarital, divorce, remarriage, blended families, parenting, and school related concerns. We also take a systems approach to substance abuse problems.
Marriage and family therapy differs from individual or group therapy in that it focuses primarily on solving problems in relationships between people. We believe that an individuals problems including aches and pains, not sleeping, and other disturbance often reflected a trouble relationship. For example, a person may become depressed within a painful marital situation. A child may become overly anxious due to an excessive amount of external control. Generally, marriage and family therapy works to improve relationships between people, and increase understanding of self, others, patterns, goals, and stages of development. In contrast, traditional therapists most often focus on an individual’s personal problems due to internal feelings or past events through insight and reflection.
We also offer on-going educational groups.
The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) is the professional organization representing more than 14,500 qualified marriage and family therapist in the United States, Canada, and abroad. AAMFT Clinical members are trained in diagnosis and treatment and are knowledgeable in such areas as human growth and development, behavioral patterns, marriage and family interactions, divorce, sexual dysfunction, parent-child relationships, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, perfectionism, and the dynamics of family systems. They are trained to use a variety of therapeutic methods and processes.
Are you getting what you need from your relationships?
Every person's relationships go through normal developmental stages, full of challenges and possible problems as well as unexpected events which may bring on crisis. In some cases, a family or couple who get along well may simply want to increase their enjoyment, playfulness, or the meaning in their lives.
The idea that only those with a mental illness can benefit from marriage and family therapy is a myth. Changes, stress and problems can be expected in any relationship and therapy can help prevent small problems from becoming serious.
Meaningful relationships are central to the good life. The choices we make will determine their quality. We can create them only if we take responsibility for our selves without controlling and trying to change other people. When we make wise choices and change our attitude and behavior for the purpose of improving relationships, others will be encouraged to make wiser choices and change their attitude and behavior.
We teach that mental health needs to focus on well being, functioning, or what some may call happiness instead of pathology. Everyone who goes to a mental health professional is discouraged to some degree. In most instances their discouragement is related to their inability to get along with the important people in their lives-to the extent they want. Counseling addresses these problems because the core of mental health is good or satisfying relationships.
Dr. William Glasser gives us this description of mental health: “You are mentally healthy if you enjoy being with most of the people you know, especially with the important people in your life such as family, sexual partner, friends. Generally, you are happy, and are more than willing to help and unhappy family member, friend, or colleague to feel better. You lead a mostly tension-free life, laugh a lot, and rarely suffer from the aches and pains so many people accept as an unavoidable part of living. You enjoy life and have no trouble accepting other people who think and act differently from you. It rarely occurs to you to criticize or try to change anyone. If you have differences with someone else you will try to work out the problem; if you can’t you will walk away before you argue and increase the difficulty. You are creative in what you attempt and may enjoy more of your potential than you ever thought possible. Finally, even in very difficult situations when you are unhappy-no one can be happy all the time-you’ll know why you are unhappy and attempt to do something about it.” (p. 2-3, Defining Mental Health as a Public Health Problem)