Switch to Accessible Site
Renaissance Counseling & Psychological SpecialistsCounseling - Supervision - Consulting - Training 
Couple Therapy Session

Common Questions

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, 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 that they could benefit from a helping hand, and that is something to be respected or even 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 or bi-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.  
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
It is understandable that many people desire to use the mental health benefits that are included in their health insurance. However, after over 20 years accepting insurance Dr. Casey no longer does so. The reasons for this, in part, include: 
  • Use of insurance requires that a psychiatric diagnosis be made. Insurance policies require that the client's problem or issue that is being addressed through therapy meet the insurance company's "medical necessity criteria."  This means that the client must be given a formal psychiatric diagnosis for insurance benefits to apply and pay for treatment services. Having a psychiatric diagnosis can have unanticipated and potentially detrimental consequences (e.g., exclusion from employment in certain types of jobs, being accepted for life insurance coverage, social stigma, etc.). 
  • High deductible and co-payments. Mental health insurance policies have deductible amounts that frequently exceed $2000 or more. This means that many clients do not reach their deductible amount before the coverage year starts over again (this usually corresponds with the calendar year) and the deductible is re-set to zero. Even if the deductible is met before the end of the coverage year the insurance payments are often only be in effect for the last few weeks of the year. As a result, even though a client may have insurance benefits that apply, she/he actually ends up receiving little if any actual financial benefit from the insurance policy. However, as mentioned above, the client now has a history of a psychiatric diagnosis. 
  • Potential confidentiality issues. Use of insurance increases the likelihood that the confidentiality of private client information may be breached during the process of filing insurance claims and receiving payments.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential? 
Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of the therapy process. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. By law, all therapists are required to 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 unless some specific exceptions apply. (*See examples below.) This will be one of the first things discussed with you during the intake process.
*Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults (e.g. elders or those who are impaired) must be reported to the authorities, including the Department of Children's Services, Adult Protective Services and/or 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 another person.