charlette@embarqmail.com

46 Main Street, Suite 109, Sparta, N.J. 07871       973-726-6700


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the benefits of therapy?

What types of problems can therapy help resolve?


What can I expect therapy to be like?


How does someone know if and when they need therapy?


What therapy models or approaches do you use?


How much will your services cost?


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THERAPY?


Become an expert on yourself. Identify the experiences, beliefs, unmet needs,
emotions and patterns that drive your problems.


Gain clarity about your problems and solutions.
 
Increase your effectiveness in meeting your needs and goals.

Expand your choices and decision-making abilities.


Learn life skills such as mindfulness, healthy breathing, assertiveness, productive thinking, managing emotions, coping, self-nurturing and relaxation.

Learn how to create secure bonds with your loved ones.


Fill the gaps from unmet needs of childhood.


Heal disturbing memories that poison your present.


Reduce the toll that stress and unresolved problems have been taking on your physical and mental health.


Develop a solid sense of your worth as a human being.  



WHAT TYPES OF PROBLEMS CAN THERAPY HELP RESOLVE?


Relationship problems


School, work and lifestyle problems 


Emotions that drive a wide range of troublesome behaviors:

         Depression    Inferiority    Shame    Anger  
         Self-Hatred    Hostility    Distrust    Guilt
         Anxiety    Irritability    Fear    Hopelessness
         Overwhelm 
Helplessness   Grief  Abandonment
        
Pain    Numbness    Powerlessness   Insecurity
 
         Rejection   Loneliness   Worthlessness   Panic 

         Vulnerability  Exhaustion  Emptiness  Inadequacy


Past and recent trauma:
 
Any experience becomes traumatic when it deeply damages a person’s sense of self-worth, safety and/or personal power.


AREAS OF SPECIALTY

I am trained in EMDR, a proven treatment for healing disturbing and traumatic experiences. I am certified by the EMDR International Association and have been practicing EMDR for ten years. 


I have special training and interest in helping adults heal from childhood neglect and abuse (whether psychological, physical or sexual.)


I am certified by the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy. I have been practicing EFT couples therapy extensively for seven years.

              

WHAT CAN I EXPECT THERAPY TO BE LIKE?


Unlike all other relationships in a person’s life, in therapy the focus of discussion is you and your life.  You will not need to reciprocate. The time spent in each therapy session will be devoted to your concerns, experiences, feelings, needs and goals. 


As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I behave according to a professional Code of Ethics, which requires all information about or from a client to be kept confidential, including the fact that the person is seeing a therapist.  This is essential because of the very personal and intimate subject matter discussed in therapy sessions.  There are limits to confidentiality for all therapists.  When there is evidence of child abuse or intent to commit suicide or violent harm to another person, or when a court orders information pertaining to a case for trial, therapists are required to reveal information.


Because therapy involves a significant commitment of time, money and energy, it is important that you are comfortable with the therapist you are seeing. I make a concerted effort to be attuned to my clients' feelings, needs and best interests and to create a therapeutic plan and process that will help clients meet their goals.  However, as is true of all human beings, I am not perfect and may make mistakes. You are encouraged to express your views and concerns and you can expect me to take them seriously.


The therapy relationship is a collaborative one.  The client needs to take an active role in the process in order to derive the most benefit and make the most progress.  This means attending weekly sessions, experimenting with new behaviors during and in between sessions, reflecting during the week on material discussed in session and contributing subjects for the therapy agenda.


A major concept in therapy is “client self-determination,” an individual’s right to make choices about one’s own life.  A therapist will strive to help you recognize all your options and will help you consider the pros and cons of each, but the client is always the one to make the decisions.  Related to this is the point that a therapist will help you to change yourself, change your situation and influence others; however, aiming to control others is an exercise in futility and is not a legitimate goal for therapy. 


Although a relationship with a therapist may provide a level of support, empathy and guidance that you find extremely helpful and previously lacking, at the same time, you will be dealing with issues and experiences that require much courage, energy, and effort on your part. You will find the process challenging. Along with the desirable gains that changing brings comes loss of some long-held, but outdated, beliefs and habits. Therapy is hard work…but work that pays off richly for those who commit themselves to the process. 


While a part of you will feel very motivated to change your life, you may find that there is another part of you that is resistant to change and that may be tempted to quit when the going gets rough, or even when on the verge of a break-though into healthier living. We all tend to cling to the familiar, even when it hurts or deprives us. Also, those you are closest to may find the changes you are making unsettling, as they prefer the familiar too. Hopefully, your sense of needing and deserving a better life will persevere.


How long therapy will be needed to bring about desired changes varies from client to client, depending on their goals, the severity of their symptoms, their degree and consistency of effort and the nature and history of the problem. However, clients maintain the right to determine how long they will commit to the process and the relationship.  Some clients are satisfied with changes that occur within three or four months and conclude therapy at that time.  Often they will return a number of times over the course of years as new issues or problems arise or as they develop greater readiness and willingness to work on more complex matters.  Other clients prefer to do extensive and deep work the first time around, particularly when their difficulties are more disabling.



HOW DOES SOMEONE KNOW IF AND WHEN THEY NEED THERAPY?


The majority of people wait too long before they seek help from professionals.  They usually wait until they are in a crisis or the problem can’t be tolerated any longer.  They will exhaust every avenue that they perceive as less threatening:  dwelling on the problem, reading or praying about it, talking to friends, family, co-workers, hairdressers or talk show hosts about it, nagging the person with whom they are frustrated, or they will just avoid dealing with it and hope the problem will fade away on its own over time.  For many problems, these methods will not be effective. The earlier a problem is addressed, the less damage is done to the person’s relationships and the sooner the person can feel satisfaction and a sense of peace


In our society there unfortunately continues to be a stigma attached to seeing a mental health professional, though perhaps less so than in the past.  This is very ironic for a number of reasons.  First of all, life is very difficult at times and realizing when we need help and seeking it are signs of good judgment, maturity, courage, and resourcefulness.   Secondly, the therapeutic relationship is one of the most supportive, compassionate, validating, healing and dignifying experiences a person can have.  People who have chosen this profession feel a deep respect for their fellow human beings and are dedicated to helping them thrive. Therapists aim to help their clients feel the self-acceptance and sense of self-worth that are their birthright.  Third, while many people don’t speak openly about their being in therapy, to those they are closest they will admit how beneficial the therapy experience has been and how they wished they had sought it earlier


Many people accept and tolerate their unhappiness for far too long because it feels familiar and they don’t realize how much better they could be feeling.  Perhaps as children they witnessed their parents’ depression, anxiety, temper, marital conflict, domestic violence or addiction.  They may have been subjected to acting out siblings, sexual abuse, physical abuse, discrimination, bullying or other traumatic experiences.  Many people think that they shouldn’t complain or expect more for themselves because they never had any of the severe problems cited above.  However, therapists know too well how common it is for people to have experienced a sense of emotional abandonment or neglect or chronic, pervasive psychological or verbal abuse that is equally as damaging to a growing child. The pains and losses of the past that permeate your present relationships with your self and others can be resolved and healed in therapy.


Many people have been raised by parents who had patterns of being  impatient, critical, insensitive, perfectionistic or intolerant of emotions.  Children raised in such homes learn very quickly to deny and suppress their feelings, needs and opinions.  They become passive and submissive and blame themselves when they struggle or they try harder to please others.  And they don’t believe they deserve help or are capable of changing their lives. A therapist can help them recognize that their feelings, needs and opinions are as important as other people’s and show them the way to achieving the autonomy and happiness they do deserve.


One of the ways you can tell that you are in need of professional help is when you find yourself spinning your wheels.  If months are going by and you have tried everything you can think of and things are pretty much the same and you are unhappy, schedule a consultation with a therapist.  There is an excellent chance she has had ample experience with your problem and can clearly see a way out that you haven’t been able to imagine. 


Another way to know that you could benefit from professional help is when you find yourself engaged in “self-defeating” behaviors.  You find yourself doing something over and over again, even though you know it isn’t wise.  Similarly, you may want very much to be able to do something and just find it impossible to get yourself to do it.  Therapists are trained to know how to help you overcome these puzzling and frustrating patterns.


People tend to procrastinate about getting professional help because they are avoiding dealing with painful problems.  There is a long list of ways that people try to cope and distract themselves from their difficulties. Almost any behavior can be done compulsively and to excess and serve as a strategy to manage or avoid problems and upsetting emotions.  Some examples include abusing alcohol or drugs, restricting or over-eating, over-sleeping, over-exercising, being preoccupied with your health and diet, over- spending and shopping, engaging in high risk sports, over-working, having affairs, being over-involved with the Internet, and becoming over-invested in your child’s life.


When people turn off or ignore their feelings, they lose the signals that would tell them that they have a problem and need to take action.  If you listen and respect the integrity of your feelings and emotions, they will let you know when you are hurting.  If there were no help available for you, it would be wise to avoid your problems and feelings.  However, as an adult living in a society with thousands of professionals trained in the means of improving mental health and relationships, you are not alone at all and you can finally find the emotional support and guidance you have needed to face and resolve your pain. You are not a helpless child. You can take action on your own behalf.


One last clue that you should consider attending therapy is if you have chronic physical complaints that don’t remit despite medical attention or when your doctor can’t find a condition that explains your symptoms.  Fatigue, sleep difficulties, digestive problems, headaches, pain, and rashes all might be signals from your “mind-body” telling you to pay attention to your whole self, not just your physical self.  Your life, emotions and relationships need to be your focus of attention and who better than a professional to help you make sense of it all and find solutions. 




WHAT THERAPY MODELS OR APPROACHES DO YOU USE?



My approach to therapy is eclectic, which means that I make use of a wide range of therapeutic perspectives and methods including:


PSYCHODYNAMIC: This outlook stresses the impact of childhood experiences on personality and functioning


COGNITIVE/ SCHEMA: These approaches emphasize the effect of thoughts and belief patterns on emotions and behavior.


BEHAVIORAL: This approach focuses on strategies, skills and activities such as assertiveness training and experimenting with new behaviors.


PSYCHO-EDUCATION: I believe in empowering clients by providing relevant information about human development, needs, relationships and dynamics and psychological trauma that they can use throughout their lives.


INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS:  This highly effective and client-friendly experiential approach helps people access their healthiest state of mind and communicate productively with parts of their personality that have been either self-defeating or long neglected.


EMDR: This is an approach for which I have obtained specialized training, which recognizes and facilitates the brain’s natural ability to process information in an adaptive and accelerated way.  It is used to heal trauma and other disturbing experiences, as well as to build and strengthen inner emotional resources and skills. Over the past seven years I have witnessed over a thousand traumas healed thanks to EMDR and the inherent capacity to heal.


IMAGINAL  NURTURING: This is an experiential approach that helps people meet deep emotional needs that were inadequately met in childhood.  The focus is on self-compassion, self-validation and self-care.


COUPLE AND FAMILY:  This modality recognizes the contribution that intimate relationships make on how one feels, functions and develops.  Therapy sessions with family members or an intimate partner can result in increased understanding and feelings of security and satisfaction.  My training in EFT-EMOTIONALLY FOCUSED THERAPY- provides a clear road map for guiding couples and families who are insecurely attached towards secure connection.


NEUROSCIENCE AND ATTACHMENT RESEARCH:  The last few decades have produced a wealth of new information about the impact of parent-child attachment relationships on the development of the brain, mind, self, emotional intelligence and future   relationships.


MINDFULNESS PRACTICE: Contemporary scientists are discovering and validating what Buddhist psychology has known for over two thousand years: suffering can be greatly diminished through strengthening our capacity to focus on the present moment with curiosity, acceptance and non-judgment.


EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUES [EFT]: This is an energy-psychology mind-body approach that, like accupuncture, accesses energy meridians in the body.  Using tapping of the spots with fingers rather than inserting needles, emotional energy blockages are released, allowing quick release of excessive or persistent emotions.




HOW MUCH WILL YOUR SERVICES COST?


I charge $140 for a one hour session, whether meeting with an individual or couple.  I do provide a sliding scale ($90 minimum) when paying the full fee would be a hardship. Please bring the need for a reduced fee to my attention when this is a concern for you.


Payment for therapy is due at the end of each session and you may pay with cash or check.


Although I do not participate in any insurance plans, I may be considered an “out-of-network provider” by your insurance company, in which case you could be reimbursed for part of the session cost. I do not file insurance claims, however, I will be glad to provide you with a statement at the end of each month that you can submit to your insurance company.  It would indicate the required information:  dates of sessions, payments made, CPT code, and diagnosis.  You will be responsible for full payment at the end of each session, whether or not your insurance company reimburses you later.  


It is important to remember that, even when you have insurance coverage, you always have the right to pay for therapy services yourself and thereby avoid the complexities and reduction of privacy inherent in third-party payment. 

   

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