I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. Everyone needs help now and then. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage and ability to reach out. You have strengths that you’ve used before that for some reason aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access the strengths you do have. The goal and benefit of therapy is to help you identify, access and implement strengths you already have and develop new ones to help work through whatever is happening right now.

What’s the difference between talking to a therapist or my best friend or family?

The difference is that an FBH mental health professional has the training and experience to help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you how to gain different perspectives, develop new skills, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself.  FBH therapists are trained to be professional “sounding boards” – reflecting back to you what is going on so you can see it more clearly and for what it is.  Because therapy is completely confidential, you have “safe space” to talk about anything and everything with your therapist without worrying about others “knowing my business.” If talking about your situation brings up lots of negative emotions and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you may start avoiding that person because seeing them triggers reminders of that difficult time in your life. Therapy utilizes the “Vegas Rule” – What happens in therapy stays in therapy.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

While medication can be a very important part of treatment, medication alone seldom solves all of the issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms that are negatively affecting and influencing thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Working together with your FBH therapist will help you to explore the root of the issues of what you are struggling with, look deeper into your thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Therapy helps you to learn new strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals. 

Medication can be very important and effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.  When you have a mental health diagnosis and medication is needed, a two-pronged approach – medication + therapy - is most often the best approach.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues, challenges and goals, therapy will be tailored to your individual needs.  Sessions involve talking about what’s going on for you – your problem or whatever brings you to therapy. Your FBH therapist will help you discover different ways to look at and understand your issues as well as effective ways to respond to them. Therapy involves sharing your thoughts and feelings and engaging in a “change process” that helps you explore the best ways to get what you want and need.  

How long will it take?

Everyone’s circumstances are different and unique. The length of time therapy will take for you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for and commitment to change. People come to therapy because they want change. If you are happy with your life, there is no need for therapy or change.  “So you say you want change?” A simple way to look at the change process: 

1 + 1 always = 2; change a factor, change the product or outcome. 

Desire for change and personal development are two important factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place. FBH therapists and clinicians are uniquely trained and qualified to help you make the changes you want.  

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

It’s great that you are dedicated to getting the most out of your therapy. Your active participation and dedication are keys to your success. The Law of the Harvest applies to therapy – “You reap what you sow, you harvest what you plant.” You will get out of therapy exactly what you put into it.  Because you only see your FBH therapist for one session one time each week, the work you do outside of your therapy sessions is critical for your personal growth and development.

My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?

If you are having struggles in your relationship and you would both like to work with an FBH therapist, the initial assessment would be with both of you together. Ongoing sessions would be a rotation of three - one partner, the other partner and back together again in the third session. This rotation has proven to be very effective as it allows the therapist to understand both perspectives and do individual work while at the same time doing couples work. The goal is to assist each partner to become healthy and strong independently so that the couple has greater capacity to become healthy and strong interdependently.

Will my health insurance pay for therapy?

FBH practice and providers are on the “Preferred Insurances” panels listed on the “About Us – Rates and Insurances” page of our website. If your insurance is not listed, you can call and ask if your plan has “out-of-network mental health benefits” and get details about your coverage. We also accept payment from religious clergy.

Who needs therapy?

Sometimes life can become overwhelming for all of us making it hard to function in day-to-day life with responsibilities and in relationships. You can feel stuck and unable to break out of feelings of sadness, helplessness and hopelessness. At times we can become troubled by problems that family or friends are having or with our own important relationships. If you have tried everything you can think of without any change, its time to reach out for help. Contact Feller Behavioral Health and we will help you connect with one of our therapists that is a good fit for you and your needs. Sometimes people begin to have thoughts of harming themselves or others. If that happens, call 911 immediately for help or go to the nearest emergency room.

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What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy, also referred to as counseling or “talk therapy,” works to treat, relieve and heal anything that negatively affects our mind – or our mental and emotional state. Commonly shortened to “therapy” - the process of increasing self-awareness, personal insight and skill development. Raising self-awareness helps people see more clearly what’s going on in their lives, and personal insight happens when a person accepts his/her part in creating the challenges that are getting in the way of their health and happiness. Through therapy people come to a place where they can accept and say, “This is what’s going on in my life and this is my part in it.” When people have trouble accepting their part, the response sounds more like, “This is what’s going on in my life and this is your part in it.” Coming to an acceptance of what you are doing that is contributing to your problem is the often the turning point in therapy where significant change begins to take place. The number one predictor of a positive experience and outcome in therapy is the relationship between the client and his/her therapist. For that reason FBH therapists’ first job is to co-create a safe and trusting relationship with you. Your therapist will help you learn to resolve emotional “blocks,” gain insight into your feelings, change troubling behaviors, resolve problems and develop skills that allow you to feel better, make healthy life choices, and experience more fulfilling relationships. Therapy sessions are held in different formats, such as individual, couple, family and group.

How does therapy help?

FBH therapists are trained and experienced in guiding clients through the “change process.” They can help you identify and remove obstacles to your goals and progress. The relationship you develop with your therapist is the key to helping you unlock your potential to see things more clearly and develop more effective responses to the challenges life throws at you.  Your therapist will practice new ways of viewing, approaching and responding to yours and others feelings, thoughts and behaviors.

What happens in my first therapy session?

During your first session or “assessment,” your FBH therapist will be asking you questions and gathering information from you to “assess” your needs and goals. What brings you to counseling, what you want to get out of coming to therapy and questions about your history will help your therapist learn how to best help you. Both you and your therapist will determine if you are a good fit together. Being able to connect with your therapist is the greatest predictor of success in counseling, so we will make sure you feel comfortable and able to be open and work well with one another. Each time you meet your therapist will check in to see how you are doing and help you continue to work on your goals. FBH therapists work hard to gain your trust and confidence and to make sure feel at ease and enjoy your time in therapy. 

Do I have to do anything outside of coming to my therapy appointments?

The people who are most satisfied with their experience coming to therapy are those who have something to work on in between sessions.  This is not always paper and pencil/pen homework. Near the end of your session you and your FBH therapist will focus on something that you have been talking about for you to work on until you return. It may be working on developing healthy coping skills, effective communication, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries in your relationships, watch a video or read an article or book. Completing this work outside of therapy and practicing your new skills will be critical to reaching and sustaining positive change. 

At first weekly sessions are typically best. As you become more consistent in your improved thinking and behaviors and achieving your goals, sessions can go to every other week and decrease as you continue to progress. People in crisis or with extreme distress may need more than one session per week.

Feller Behavioral Health specializes in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of all common and most of the major mental health disorders.  Our interdisciplinary team approach to your health care provides comprehensive and effective treatment.