What do I need to know trying to find the right psychologist for me?

There are several issues to consider when selecting a psychologist.
Psychologists are licensed by the states in which they practice, which
provides a level of protection to the public that doesn't exist with
unlicensed therapists. Knowing the psychologist is in good standing with
their licensing board and their professional organizations can help assure
that the psychologist is maintaining a practice in accordance with the
standards of the profession. Also, you will want to know that the
psychologist has experience and training in working with the specific types
of problems for which you are wanting help. When meeting with the
psychologist initially, it is important to determine if the therapy
relationship is one in which you feel you can develop trust for the
therapist. Also, if you are relying on insurance to help pay for your
therapy you will want to know if the therapist is covered by your specific
health plan.


I'm not crazy, I just find myself stressed out and not functioning as well
as I like...I don't need therapy, right?

Therapy is an excellent forum for learning time and life management skills.
In addition, people often find certain personal issues are zapping their
otherwise good management skills. In those situations, therapy can be very
helpful to resolving those personal issues and resume good management
skills.


What happens in therapy?

Initially, Dr. Mishler will want to know as much as you understand about
what is causing you to seek therapy at that time. Once she understands the
issues for which you are wanting help, she can make recommendations about
how to address those concerns. If you continue in ongoing treatment, as
most do, you will meet weekly to continue to develop a greater understanding
of the issues causing distress, and formulate ways to address those
problems. Many people feel a certain measure of relief simply by discussing
what they are feeling, while others will need to develop a plan of action
to begin making the changes they are seeking.


Isn't therapy expensive?

Unfortunately therapy is expensive. However, most people have some coverage
for mental health services in their health insurance plans. Many people pay
a small payment at each session, while the bulk of the appointment is
covered by insurance. You may want to verify insurance coverage prior to
beginning therapy. In addition, after your initial appointment, we will
contact your insurance to determine what coverage you have. A small number
of people have no coverage for mental health in their insurance and will
have to fund therapy entirely out of pocket.


What if I don't know what to talk about?

This can sometimes happen, for a variety of reasons. If your initial focus
was on a crisis situation, once the crisis is more resolved, you have the
opportunity to then work on the issues that had made you vulnerable to
having the crisis. However, in that transition, it can sometimes feel a bit
awkward since so much of the prior conversations was focused on the crisis.
Also, sometimes the very problem for which a person seeks help can cause
them to feel awkward about knowing what to discuss in therapy. For example,
people who suffer from social anxiety can sometimes feel quite nervous
about the potential of not having enough to say or feel nervous about a
lack of structure in interpersonal situations. These pressures can cause
them to feel awkward in therapy also. In that situation it is best to
discuss the discomfort of not knowing what to talk about. Often Dr. Mishler
can help you get determine what would be helpful for you to discuss.


My biggest concern is my relationship, but my partner won't come to therapy
with me. Is there any point to coming by myself?

While it could be ideal to have both people present to work on relationship
issues, there is also significant progress that can be made if only one
person wishes to attend. In many cases, after one person begins therapy and
starts to make changes, the partner may wish to begin attending as well.
Relationships are a system involving two people, and if one person begins
to change, the relationship has to adjust to those changes as well. For
example, if one person has a hard time expressing herself and her needs,
but her partner refuses to come to therapy, she will create change in the
relationship when she begins expressing her needs more effectively. Dr.
Mishler can discuss with you if it is reasonable to attend therapy alone
for relationship issues, or if your particular situation would require both
to attend.


What is the process when a child is brought for therapy?

If you are seeking therapy for a child, the initial appointment with be
with a parent and the child does not attend. Then during the next few
appointments the child will attend alone for Dr. Mishler to complete an
assessment. After the assessment is complete, Dr. Mishler with meet with
the parents alone to review the findings and together make a plan for the
child's therapy. Based on what the child needs, that plan may include
family therapy or parent consultations in addition to individual
appointments.


Why do children need therapy?

Many of us can think of childhood as a stress free time, since adults carry
the burden of responsibilities. However, daily life can become depressing
or overwhelming to children as well. Family issues, including unhappy
parents, can take its toll on children as well. Some children experience
mistreatment, others cope with the changes in their life created by
divorce. Just as an adult can experience depression when having to go to
work with people who are difficult or a job they hate, children can become
depressed about the circumstances at their "job" at school. Childhood is a
great time to go to therapy, since they are still developing, and that
makes them more receptive to change than adults.


Doesn't it create a stigma for a child to see a psychologist?

For most children it is not something that creates a bad feeling. Rather,
most children enjoy their therapy appointments and develop a greater sense
of self esteem and positive outlook on life. Because therapy is private,
the child wouldn't have to disclose to others about being in therapy.


How long will I need to come to therapy appointments?

This is an individual issue, which Dr. Mishler can better answer after
meeting with you to discuss your concerns and what you desire to get from
therapy.


I need help with some very personal issues, but I am not sure I can talk
with a stranger about them.

Most people find they cannot talk about the most personal topics right away
in therapy. Over time they develop a greater trust for the therapist, which
helps them begin to talk about more sensitive issues.


I have some personal religious beliefs, and I want therapy but I don't want
anyone telling me my faith is wrong. Is that a problem?

Psychologists are obligated to respect personal religious beliefs, and it
is not appropriate for them to challenge, ridicule or criticize religious
beliefs. If faith is an important issue to you, Dr. Mishler is committed to
helping you use your faith to work on therapy issues to change your life.
In addition to her psychological education, Dr. Mishler has extensive
training in theology, and is well equipped to help you understand how you
can use your faith in your therapy progress. For some, religion and faith
is not a concern they wish to include in their therapy.


So how do I get started?

The next step would be to call Dr. Mishler at 503-526-2917 to set up an
initial appointment. You may also wish to verify your insurance coverage
prior to calling. If required by your insurance to obtain an authorization
prior to beginning treatment, and you wish to use insurance to help pay for
therapy, you will need to obtain the authorization to ensure that your
appointments are covered.

 

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