Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a collection of the frequently asked questions we get from our clients in Northeastern Pennsylvania. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us.
Caring for your mental health is an important part of life no matter your age. However, the decision to engage in therapy is a personal choice. There are many individuals who believe that therapy is not right for everyone and should only be accessed by those who have serious mental health afflictions, but this could not be farther from the truth. Some individuals find themselves seeking therapy to improve their mental health symptoms that have been long standing, while another individual will seek support to have a professional ear listen and provide guidance to some stressors in their life. For some, engaging in individual or group therapy is a means of assistance in their personal exploration of their life and support of their growth. Your therapist can help provide an outlet to express and explore challenges you may be facing in life, or help you identify ways of reducing stressors that are influencing mental health symptoms. Therapy can also help with providing the ability to manage anxiety, depression, trauma grief, stress management and life transitions, among other circumstances. If you find yourself pondering if therapy may be right for you then chances are it may be a benefit.

The common misconception for individuals today is that therapy is to be used as a last resort when you have found yourself unable to navigate current life difficulties. However, there is nothing wrong with seeking the support of a therapist before life’s challenges become consuming. Meeting with a therapist when you find yourself stressed does not mean you are incapable of handling your problems, but rather that you have the self-awareness to understand when it may benefit to have some extra support. Meeting with a therapist on an ongoing basis can provide long-lasting benefits, such as the ability to overcome challenges, reduce stress, and improve your overall quality of life.

Therapy will look different for every individual, as the sessions are designed to cater to an individual’s specific needs. During sessions, it is common for the therapist and client to identify the primary areas of concerns and form goals in relation to improving these circumstances. Sessions will range in length of time and frequency, depending on individual needs of the client, though the most common length and frequency is forty-five to six minutes once weekly. For some individuals, therapy will be a short-term process, which focuses on a specific issue, or longer-term, where more complex issues are worked through.

In between sessions, it is common for the therapist to have the client engage in some form of homework activities, such as reading a relevant book, keeping a journal of behavioral patterns, or practicing specific coping skills. The goal of assigning homework is to allow the client to continue processing and integrating materials from the session into their everyday life. Individuals will find more success in improving their situations by remaining an active and engaged participant both during and between sessions. People engaging in psychotherapy will find themselves being able to navigate the demands of life with a greater ability to pause, think and reframe negative thoughts, which in turn promotes accountability and greater awareness.

Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  1. A safe, confidential space for healing
  2. A client-centered approach for promoting affirmative change
  3. Empathy, validation, and acceptance
  4. An understanding of the connection between thoughts, feelings, and actions

There are many benefits to beginning psychotherapy. The value of seeing a therapist is that they can offer an objective view of your circumstances without personal stakes involved. A therapist can help you understand and process the link between thoughts, feelings, and actions with an unbiased perspective. Through support and guidance, your therapist will help you learn to problem solve, enhance your ability to cope with stressors and create a safe and confidential environment for you to feel connected.

Therapists are trained in helping individuals overcome various mental health afflictions including, trauma, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, among other diagnosis. Furthermore, your therapist can help you work through many life stressors including but not limited to relationship difficulties, unresolved childhood issues, grief, and body image issues. With a client-centered, humanistic approach, therapists can provide an impartial point of view on difficult problems and support your journey to discovering solutions. What you obtain from therapy will depend on your participation and activeness in practicing what you learn. However, with practice, therapy can help significantly improve your life. Potential benefits include:

  1. Improved interpersonal effectiveness and communication skills
  2. Increased life satisfaction and happiness
  3. Increased understanding of your values and goals
  4. Improved self-esteem and self-worth
  5. Greater awareness of unwanted behaviors and emotions
  6. Relief from anxiety, depression, and trauma
  7. Learn effective coping skills for stress management
  8. Develop healthy alternatives to negative behavior patterns

Puglisi Counseling, LLC currently accepts most major insurance plans. However, it is highly recommended that you contact your insurance provider to determine if you have mental health coverage. When checking your coverage, it is important to get answers to the following questions:

  1. Does my insurance cover mental health benefits?
  2. Am I responsible for a deductible when using my mental health benefits for therapy?
  3. How many therapy sessions per year will be covered?
  4. Do I have out-of-network benefits if my provider is not in-network? If so, how much will insurance pay for out-of-network providers?
  5. Does my insurance require a referral from a Primary Care Physician to access my mental health benefits?

Confidentiality is a strong foundation of psychotherapy treatment. Communication between a client and therapist is considered confidential and protected by law in the State of Pennsylvania with few exceptions that the client should be aware of. For medical records or treatment information to be provided to any entity or individual, written consent under the guidelines of HIPAA will need to be obtained except for the following:

  1. The client poses an imminent threat to others and breaking confidentiality is necessary to prevent harm. In this instance, the therapist will be responsible for notifying the appropriate authorities to resolve the danger.
  2. There is suspected child, elder or dependent adult abuse which will be reported to the appropriate authorities immediately following suspicion.
  3. The client has expressed an intent to harm themselves and there is no resolution to the danger posed without notifying the appropriate authority. In this instance, the clinician will make every effort to contract for safety with the client. If the individual is unable to contract for safety and remains un-cooperative, the therapist will then take additional steps to prevent the danger.
  4. The therapist receives a qualifying court order that subpoenas information.
The use of medication and its necessity will need to be discussed with a qualifying health professional, including a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or physician associate that is currently treating the client. Medication and psychotherapy often work collaboratively to improve a client’s mental health. However, there is much research to support that medication should not be the only course of treatment when dealing with mental health afflictions for the long-term. The goal of therapy is to assist the client in addressing the root causes of the mental health afflictions and assist in developing healthy behaviors that are alternative to the negative patterns being exhibited. There is often much greater success in improving one’s quality of life when it comes to mental health by engaging in an integrative approach to wellness.

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