Dr. Steven Dawson DSW, LCSW
It’s a little different for everyone. Some signs that you might need some help from a professional are when the way you feel begins to negatively impact your sleep, your job, appetite, relationships with friends and loved ones, or your decision-making abilities. If you find that you feel “blue” a lot, or that things just aren’t getting better or even that things seem hopeless – these are also pretty strong indicators that it’s time to seek out a trained professional to help.
It’s easy to put off seeking out help for something that’s negatively impacting the way we feel. In fact, the decision to get help can actually be extremely difficult for many people. Often times we dismiss feelings of anxiety, emotional pain, relationship stress, or depression as “just life” – even to the point of encountering real difficulty in normal day-to-day functioning. Deciding to take responsibility for your mental wellbeing and is an empowering first step. It takes courage, but it puts you back in control of your feelings and wellbeing. Even this small action step of reaching out can have a surprisingly positive effect on your outlook!
Professional counseling gives you an opportunity to share, but also to gain new understanding and perspective. Life can be hard at times, and difficult circumstances are sometimes beyond our control, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Therapy helps you set achievable goals, and begin to make lasting changes to help you reach them. Through getting to the root of the issues and learning techniques for changing your unhealthy behaviors, you’re equipped to both regain control and practice healthy patterns for long-lasting improvement.
Since the needs and goals of every client are different, therapy sessions vary in format and approach. Sometimes clients come with an agenda or specific things they’d like to talk about. Other times, people have a success story, an emotion that’s bothering them, or just a vague feeling or thought they can’t shake. Sessions progress based on the needs of the client at the time, but active participation and collaboration is important. In addition to in-session discussion and activities, we might encourage an outside activity or assignment that we discuss later (like reading a book, or keeping a journal). Ultimately, the goal is to identify the areas where change or help is needed, set realistic objectives, and to equip you with resources and strategies for both near-term and long-term success.
Certain topics or stories can be difficult to share, and that’s normal and OK. You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to, or that makes you uncomfortable. It’s important to build a trusting relationship between therapist and client, but our sessions always progress at a pace that you feel ready for.
Because therapy is tailored to a specific person, and the goals and challenges that person is facing, there’s no pre-defined period of time for on-going therapy sessions. Sometimes incredible progress is made in mere minutes, but it’s not uncommon for therapy to span several sessions over a period of weeks or months. Individual sessions are generally about 40-50 minutes in length.
Coverage varies greatly, but my services may be covered in part or in full by your insurance provider. Please contact your HMO or health insurance plan to learn more about what your plan covers. Below are some questions that are helpful to ask:
If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance of your session. Sessions canceled with less than 24 hours notice will not be refunded.
Yes. Your privacy is important to me, and you can trust that our sessions, as well as any of your personal information, is always held in the strictest of confidence. Additionally, anything you transmit over my website is highly secure, and stored data is HIPAA-compliant.
Confidential information disclosed in private therapy sessions is legally protected. However, there are some exceptions to this, including instances of suspected child or elder abuse, or when a client presents a serious danger of violence toward himself or herself or another person. If you’d like to learn more about our ethical standards and privileged communication exceptions, our office can provide additional information.