Frequently asked questions
I have questions about telehealth.
Most of the common questions I recieve about telehealth can be answered by clicking here. If you have a question that it not answered in this document, please feel free to contact me.
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 communication 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.
This is for you to decide. Therapy is for people who, for whatever reason, have reached a turning point in their lives where they feel they can’t handle their problems on their own and need to examine their situations with a another person. If you’re ambivalent about whether or not therapy is for you, examine and reflect on why you’re reading this website in the first place. It might also be helpful to ask yourself: “what is making me think I need to seek out the help of a therapist in the first place?”
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 realization 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.
What is therapy like?
There is no one size-fits-all type of answer to this question. What therapy will be like for you will depend on what brings you to therapy in the first place. Because each person has different issues and goals, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I try to tailor sessions to meet individuals where they are at in this moment in life. 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 (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 sessions back into your daily life.
How Long does Therapy Last?
Therapy is different and an individualized process for everyone. Depending on your issues, some people will feel fine after a few sessions and others will find it beneficial to stay in therapy for a while. 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 (usually weekly).
What about medication vs. therapy?
Because of the side effects of many mental health medications, my personal feelings regarding this issue are that medications should be used as a last resort option when talk therapy by itself has proved ineffective. It is well established that the long-term solutions to mental and emotional problems and the pain that results cannot be solved solely by a pill. Many individuals believe medication can be a cure all, but for most people, the reality is that medications only treat the symptoms. Instead of just treating the symptoms, therapy aims to address the root cause of distress and the behavior patterns.
There is a time and place for medication in certain individuals, however. If you are on medication or thinking about medication, most doctors would agree that medication in conjunction with therapy leads to the most benefits. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness that may or may not include medication, but this is up to you and your doctor to decide.
How can I pay for therapy? How much do you charge? Do you take insurance, and how does that work? Can I afford Therapy?
Most questions regarding insurance and cost can be answered by accessing the folloing form by
clicking here. If you have a question that is not answered, please feel free to contact me.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Yes, but there are certain circumstances in which I am obligated to report what is discussed in therapy. Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist and I take confidentiality very seriously. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed in an open forum. You can and should expect that what you say in session will remain in session. Upon intake, you will be given a Notice of Privacy Practice detailing my policies on confidentiality.
You may want me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team such as your physician, attorney, etc. By law, I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
There are state laws and professional ethics that require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders.
* If I have reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming themselves or has threatened to harm another person.
If you would like to learn the full extent of confidentiality in my therapy practice, feel free to view my “Notice of Privacy Practice” form in the Client Forms section of this website.
How will I know if you are the right therapist for me?
We will talk on the phone first. However, the only way to know for sure is to come in for an initial session. Most people have a good sense of whether I am the right professional to help them within the first two sessions. You can also check out my other website www.LennyGallo.com to learn more about me. I have tried to provide you with as much information as possible about my practice on this website to give you a sense of how I operate, but feel free to contact me with any questions, prior to seeing me.
What happens during the first session?
The initial session is the time for you to start to share your story, talk about your goals and what you would like to change and for me to gather information. Another important aspect of the first session is deciding if we are a good fit. Do I seem like someone you can trust? We are establishing a relationship that will become the foundation for working together. You will begin to figure out some goals; I will begin to figure out how to help you get there.
How long do appointments last?
The initial intake session lasts approximately 80 minutes. All subsequent sessions last between 45-55 minutes. If you are interested in a longer session (75 minutes), please contact me regarding availability and pricing.
How often will we meet?
It is ideal to meet weekly, especially in the early stages of therapy. I find it’s important to gain some momentum in the beginning by meeting weekly to provide for better continuity in your progress. Once some or all of your goals are met, it is often a good time to take a break or meet for occasional touch-up sessions. Please note I only reserve spots for weekly sessions. If you are looking for a therpist with less frequency, I may not be a good fit for you.
What is your cancellation policy?
24 hour notice is required to avoid a $25 cancellation fee. An occasional exception may be made in the case of an emergency.
What theoretical approach do you use?
I pull from a variety of theories and techniques. I find Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to be most effective, but I also use modalities such as Solution Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Client-Centered Therapy, and Mindfulness Techniques.
Do you prescribe medication?
No, I am not a medical doctor. Many of my patients find medication is helpful, but many of them also progress well in therapy without medication. If you want to be evaluated for psychiatric medication, either contact your primary care physician or a psychiatrist. If you are already taking medication, I can coordinate care with your doctor.
Are there any issues or types of clients that you DON’T work with?
I only work with adults aged 18+. I do not provide couples therapy or family therapy. I do not conduct child custody evaluations, nor do I provide custody recommendations. I also don’t provide treatment for the following conditions:
Psychotic disorders (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, etc.), or
Substance abuse (this is a case-by-case basis).