What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy involves a trusting, therapeutic relationship with a licensed professional who has specialized training and education. The purpose of psychotherapy is to help a client change internal and external factors that affect an individual’s behavior, feeling, and thinking in a wide range of situations, including relationships, job and career, and health and illness situations. When external situations are out of our control, psychotherapy can help an individual cope and make adjustments in order to deal with the situation.
Entering into a trusting relationship with a professional can feel challenging. It is important to find the right therapist. You should feel free to ask whatever questions you have in order to be an informed consumer. The law requires that fees be disclosed before the initial therapy session and that your confidentiality be maintained.
Psychotherapy is a process rather than an event. While a course of therapy may be fairly brief and focused on immediate needs, sometimes the change you seek may take more than a few sessions. Ask your therapist about this process and how to evaluate its effectiveness. Effective psychotherapy will include ongoing evaluation of benefit of treatment and is a collaboration and partnership with you, the client. As a partnership, it is important that you, the client, communicate any concerns about treatment with your therapist.
Why is a license important?
Both Marriage Family Therapists (MFTs) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) apply psychotherapeutic and counseling techniques in order to assist clients and both types of professionals are regulated by the Board of Behavioral Sciences of the State of California. Both professionals can diagnose and treat mental disorders and both must have taken courses on ethics and laws related to practicing psychotherapy.
Knowing you are seeing a professional with a valid license ensures that you are seeing someone who is accountable to a professional code of ethics and to the laws that protect you, the consumer. The Board of Behavioral Sciences exists to protect consumers, not therapists. The Board is where you can turn if you have questions or concerns about any MFT or LCSW that you have been working with.
What happens after I call?
Before scheduling an appointment, the therapists at Tamarack will ask some questions in order to help determine if we can be of assistance to you and if a particular therapist is likely to be a good match for you and your needs. After discussing the fee, you may elect to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation. During that first appointment, your therapist will review what treatment is, obtain your consent for treatment, and discuss issues regarding confidentiality and any relevant release of information, such as for billing or coordination with other health care providers. The first appointment is a time for your therapist to begin to get to know more about you and what brings you to therapy. Within the first few appointments, you and your therapist will identify a direction for treatment and some goals and objectives.
What if I see other providers?
We understand the collaboration which is important in working with your Primary Care provider and/or Psychiatrist. We have a great deal of experience in working with clients who might be on medications or who might be in need of a referral to discuss medication with their medical provider.
Therapists at Tamarack also understand your need for privacy and confidentiality. Using a signed release of information from you, the minimum information is utilized to facilitate coordination of your care, when needed.
It is rare that more than one psychotherapist is involved with an individual at one time. Please let us know if you are seeing another therapist.
A Commitment to Quality Service
At Tamarack Counseling and Consulting, we realize that psychotherapy requires a commitment from both therapist and client to the process. As therapists, we are committed to providing you the best possible service we can provide and we take seriously that you are committing your time, effort, and finances to this equation. We look forward to this collaboration with you.