© 2014 Susan M. Fleming, Ph.D.  •  PSY 16902  •  916.441.4077
801 Alhambra Blvd., Suite 4  Sacramento, CA   95816

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Psychotherapy an Option for You?

There are many reasons you may consider psychotherapy. Perhaps you are experiencing challenges or conflict in your life. These challenges may be personal,
in relationships or in the workplace. People with longstanding emotional and psychological difficulties often benefit from psychotherapy and learn to effectively manage and cope with these difficulties. Psychotherapy may also afford people
an opportunity to gain a better understanding of themselves and their world and
to explore opportunities for change or personal growth. People seek support
during many of the transitions they face at different times in their lives.
Psychotherapy offers a choice for people who want to enhance the quality
of their lives.


What Happens in Psychotherapy?

The decision to begin psychotherapy is a personal choice. Sessions are tailored
to meet the needs of each person. The frequency of sessions differs for each
person and is mutually determined by you and the therapist. The overall length
of time for psychotherapy also depends upon your individual circumstances.
These decisions often depend on the nature and severity of your concerns.

Everyone experiences difficult times in life. These can include life change like
divorce, death of a loved one, conflict in relationships, just feeling bad about
yourself or the way life is going at any particular time. During the first session,
it is important to discuss the reasons you are seeking help. Family and personal
history are also important subjects to explore to provide a context for a mutual understanding of previous and current events. This background will help the
therapist and you to mutually decide the subjects to be worked on in psychotherapy.
A therapy session involves conversation between you and the therapist regarding
the concerns you have and want to talk about. It is the therapist’s job to actively
listen so that the conversation provides a basis for addressing your concerns. It is
important to recognize that in the therapeutic relationship, you actively participate
in setting goals and in determining ways to deal with concerns. This collaborative approach helps to provide a positive outcome, which will hopefully assist you to
better manage your life.


Is There a Role for Medication in Combination with Psychotherapy?

Medication, in addition to psychotherapy, may be appropriate in some but not
all cases. This is true in cases of longstanding depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders which may require medication. In other cases, medication may
be a temporary intervention along with psychotherapy to help people through
difficult times in life. It is the role of a medical doctor to determine the need for
and to prescribe medication. This is something you talk about with your physician.
A psychologist will often coordinate care and communicate with the physician
to make certain you receive a comprehensive approach to your care. This
coordination and communication is only permissible with a specific written
authorization signed by you.


How Does Insurance Work?

If you have health insurance and wish to use it for psychotherapy, you are
responsible for payment of any deductible, copays, co-insurance, and services
not covered under your policy. It is your responsibility to know or contact your insurance company to find out the amount of any deductible, copay or co-insurance and whether services are covered. I file the claims with the insurance company.
You do not have the responsibility for filing insurance claims.

You may decide not to use insurance. In this case, you pay out of pocket for the services you receive. This is also true if you have no health insurance or your
health insurance does not cover psychotherapy services.

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