Succeeding in Therapy
The following suggestions will help to maximize the potential of achieving your goals. We are a team.
1. Schedule and attend appointments regularly
Weekly sessions will provide you the greatest chance of success, especially at first.
2. Avoid cancelling appointments.
Cancelled appointments interrupt the rhythm and momentum of the treatment, thereby lessening your chances of success. When cancellations occur, many patients experience difficulty getting back for the next session, often creating a lapse in support. This can derail success. Each time the momentum is lost, hopelessness about achieving goals increases. Because of my schedule is often near full, when appointments are cancelled, patients routinely have difficulty rescheduling without a lapse between sessions, causing momentum to be lost.
3. Place Therapy high on your list of priorities
Therapy is a commitment to yourself and the quality of your life. When you don’t give therapy your best, you are only depriving yourself of what you have expressed is very important…that is why you contacted me in the first place! When your therapy appointments are cancelled often or rescheduled, it is a sign that the factors which are interfering with therapy are likely to be the same factors contributing to your problems.
4. Book appointments ahead
Because my schedule can be busy, booking ahead gives you the best chance of establishing the kind of treatment rhythm that helps you make the most of your therapy. This is especially so if you have specific or limited needs regarding time.
5. Take treatment guidance seriously
I will provide you very specific, tangible direction and guidance. Your follow-through is essential to create the life changes you seek. Not following through only slows the process of your success and makes therapy more costly to you.
6. Be open and honest
As your therapist, I am not here to judge you, but instead to help and support you in your growth and well-being. Complete openness and honesty about you and your situation will help you get the best from me and accelerate your success.
7. Be prepared to make changes!
You enter therapy to change your life or your relationship. This will not happen without you making deliberate, personal changes. Nobody really wants to change, but without growth what currently distresses you will remain or get worse.
8. Couples: Beware of ending therapy too early.
Many couples who start relationship therapy experience a burst of hopefulness and rejuvenated connection fight at the beginning. I call this returning to the honeymoon period. It really feels like the problems have been fixed. But this wonderful experience of rejuvenation is only temporary. In reality, the problems will return with a vengeance should therapy be ended too soon, before the solutions have become fixed in place.
9. I do not have a magic wand!
Please understand the difference between a therapist and a magician. Magicians create changes effortlessly. All the changes and growth you make in therapy will come from your large efforts. Learning, understanding, guidance, exploring, communication, questioning, and discovering will happen in my office. This is hard work. If done well, it builds strength, character and pride.
10. You buy my time; the guidance is free
Regarding the business side of our relationship, please be aware that I sell you my time. I earn no salary and receive no paycheck. The hour that I sell you is how I earn an income and how I pay my bills. Please be aware that cancelling an appointment at short notice, prevents me to sell that hour to another patient in need.
A) With certain exceptions, all communications with the provider will be confidential. These exceptions include, but are not limited to:
1. Consultation with any referring health care provider for the coordination of care, acknowledgement of the referral, or the communication of relevant information.
2. Legal requirements to report to the appropriate authorities or hospitalize for:
a) danger to self or others
b) child neglect and/or physical abuse
c) elderly and/or infirm abuse
d) any other legal requirements
B) Please note that under certain circumstances, states and jurisdictions may compel the production of records and documents. Any information conveyed to the therapist is subject to discovery if compelled by the courts.
2. Missed Appointments
Because time is reserved for your appointment, you will be charged for any appointment that is missed or cancelled without two (2) working days notice. Please note that insurance will not pay for missed appointments.
For your therapy success cancelled appointments should be avoided. Should cancellations happen with regularity, Andrew Aaron, LICSW reserves the right to end therapy due to insufficient commitment.
4. Health Insurance
It is the responsibility of the patient to track the benefits provided by the insurance company and inform the therapist in a timely manner of any information required by a managed care/insurance company. Any fees which are not paid by the managed care or insurance company within three (3) months of billing are the responsibility of the patient.
Preparation for your first session includes getting clear and focused on the issues that trouble you and the goals you are setting. Be prepared to share about these in a clear and specific way.
Relax because in the therapy office and when with Andrew Aaron, LICSW, you will get to be yourself and accepted for who you are without judgement. All that you have to share will be listened to carefully, because for a successful therapy experience being understood completely is essential.
Andrew Aaron, LICSW will either listen mostly or ask questions depending upon you and what will help the most to become clear on exactly what changes you hope to achieve and what problems you wish to resolve.
Your attitude towards your therapy can contribute to success or failure. An attitude of openness and readiness to make changes will help. Therapy will require your effort both during the sessions and outside the therapy office.
With couples, each partner will have an opportunity to share his or her perspective. Andrew Aaron, LICSW listens to understand not to determine who is right or wrong. Partner differences and needs will be discussed. Arguments, heated exchanges, hurtfulness, and escalated conflicts do not happen in the office and Andrew Aaron, LICSW will insure that escalation is reduced.
The therapy office is a space where you can be yourself, be understood and be protected from harm.
It may be helpful to:
- write down thoughts and feelings
- recall past examples
- recall examples of successes
- bring lists of issues
- bring pictures of important people
How long does therapy last?
Each person or couple is different. Every situation is unique. The capacity of each person to grow or make change varies widely. However, the average length of time in therapy is about 5 to 6 sessions. Couples average 5 to 12 sessions to resolve most problems.
About his much does therapy cost?
To resolve a minor issue, about the cost of 40 inch TV, for a significant issue roughly the cost of repairing the brakes on your car and for long-term therapy work, roughly the cost of a moderately priced new refrigerator, but less than the cost of a family vacation to Disney World. For long-term couples considering the cost of a breakup, moving, additional rents, loss of savings and potentially lawyer fees, relationship therapy if far more cost effective.
Will I/we be in therapy forever?
No. Most therapy episodes are short-term and time limited. Some clients set a specific number of sessions to work on a specific issue. While some clients do participate in therapy on an ongoing basis, a vast majority do not.
What is your theoretical approach to therapy?
I guide my clients in the development of personal strength and empowerment as well as practice love and compassion for themselves, their partners and others. Love guides my method. Yet my approach to therapy is eclectic, meaning I utilize many theoretical models and blend them together. Cognitive/behavioral therapy is my core method, but in couples work I am influenced by Susan Johnson’s emotionally focused therapy approach. I will often encourage insight by my clients into their own feelings and issues. I operate out of a deep reverence for the free will of each individual to make his or her own choices.