The decision to see a therapist is a very personal one. Therapy can involve looking closely at yourself, your situation and the people around you. Having a trained & experienced counselor to work with you in this process is an invaluable asset. Therapy helps people to enhance and maintain physical and mental health, and promote honesty, intimacy and fulfillment in their lives.
At Ames & Des Moines Therapy & Consulting offices, during a session you and your therapist together. Our clinical training and expertise enables our counselors to challenge and support you. Confidentiality is paramount. It is important to have a safe space where they are able to share whatever they like without being judged and rest assured that it will remain confidential.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can 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 and creative blocks. 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 a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Are there issues the clinicians don't treat?
Yes. We do not treat children or adolescents (must be 18 years or older). Additionally, we do not treat disorders of schizophrenia, eating disorders that have become a medical concern, or behaviors of physical harm to self or others. We are helpful with emotional eating and healthy diets. We limit our focus only to areas where we have skills and expertise to work with a great deal of confidence; and we refer everything else out to experts in other areas. If you need help with an area listed above that we don’t treat, please know your treatment is important, and you absolutely deserve to work with a therapist who specializes in that issue and we usually can refer you to a local clinician with that speciality.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (you’re your Physician, Psychiatrist, or Nurse Practitioner), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, 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 threatened to harm another person.