Healing Path Counseling Services

Jennifer M. Thompson, LCSW

What are your business hours?

 ​I am currently in my office Monday through Fridays. Hours vary daily.

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:
                      -Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
                      -Developing skills for improving your relationships
                      -Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
                      -Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
                      -Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
                      -Improving communications and listening skills
                      -Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
                      -Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
                      -Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.  
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you  may have successfully navigated
through other difficulties you've  faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you  need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness  to realize they need a helping
hand, and that is something to be  admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in  life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy.  Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the  tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and  overcome whatever challenges you face.

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to  psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition  (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of  other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions,  relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Therapy  can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to  get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they  are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective  with their goals in life.   In short, people seeking psychotherapy are  ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in  their lives.

What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you  can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your  personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your  specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or  longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for  more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule  regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).

It is important to understand that you will get more results from  therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate  purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back  into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions,  your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to  support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your  goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes  in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.  

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.

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 (your Physician, Attorney etc),  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.