Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I know if starting therapy makes sense for me?

Research shows that therapy is effective in helping people manage and regulate their emotions better, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, and treating many other emotional and psychological issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, eating disorders. There are many different ways to determine if therapy can be beneficial to you. One indication is if you've been struggling in some aspect of your life and the tools and resources you've tried have not resulted in significant relief or resolution of the problem. You can talk to one of our therapists by phone or in person if you'd like to find out more about how therapy may be beneficial to you.

How is therapy different from talking to someone close to me?

Friends, family members and significant others may want nothing more than to help you feel better, but because they’re in a personal relationship with you it makes it difficult for them to be objective and keep their relationship with you separate from giving you what you need to feel better.  Sometimes, it is these very relationships that may be part of the problem. Therapy carves out the space and time for you to take care of yourself with the help of a trained professional. Our therapists are trained to use techniques that are proven to address emotional and psychological problems, they are objective as possible; and are here to focus solely on you to get you feeling and living better.

What if I'm having trouble dealing with the stigma of therapy?

Unfortunately, in our society mental health issues and getting therapy are often associated with someone being “crazy”, or being “weak”. At Ivy Center for Social Work, we view seeking therapy as a strength. We don’t patholoize our clients. Rather, we view our clients as having strengths and weaknesses who may need some help at different points in life. We collaborate with our clients to build on their strengths and develop the skills and tools they need to reach their goals. We'd be happy to talk with you about ways to deal with the stigma associated with mental health issues and therapy.

How long should I expect to be in therapy?

Therapy is a process. The duration of therapy varies depending on the issues that bring you to therapy, how much change you’re seeking to make, and how each individual responds to therapy. Our therapists will work with you to determine what treatment plan and goals make the most sense for you. We’re respectful of your right to determine how long you want to be in therapy, and your right to terminate therapy at any time. Many of our clients use therapy at different points in their life, so you may be in therapy for something at one point in your life, and decide to come back to address something different later on.

How often will I meet with my therapist?

We ask that you commit to weekly sessions during the first part of therapy, or more if needed, and have a regular scheduled appointment if possible. This helps therapy to be as effective as possible since in the beginning phase of therapy the therapist and client are getting to know each other, and the therapist is figuring out how best to help you. Being consistent is important and helps ensure that therapy will be effective. If you decide after a few months or more of weekly therapy, meeting less frequently may make sense. This is something you and your therapist would discuss and decide on together.

What if I feel therapy isn’t working or it’s making me feel uncomfortable or worse?

Going to see a therapist for the first appointment causes anxiety for every client. It’s really just a matter of degrees. Our therapists do our best to make you feel at ease from the start. Clients usually leave the first appointment feeling better just knowing that they’ve started the process of getting help, and that they have a plan to address the issue(s) they’re seeking therapy for.

Throughout the course of therapy clients may have a range of feelings about therapy in general or their therapist. This is normal and doesn’t necessarily mean that the therapy isn’t working. In fact, in most cases these feelings may be an indication that the therapy is working, as therapy can evoke feelings that need to be “worked through” in order to experience positive and lasting change. The best way to deal with this is to talk to your therapist openly and honestly about your concerns. However, if after talking with your therapist you still feel therapy isn’t helping then you should make a plan with your therapist to end therapy.

Do Ivy Center therapists prescribe medication?

Our therapists do not prescribe psychotropic medication (antidepressants, anti-anxiety, mood stabilizing, etc.). However, if you and the therapist feel a medication evaluation would be useful, the therapist will provide a referral if needed, and help walk you through the process of getting the evaluation. If you decide to start taking medication our therapists provide medication monitoring, and will collaborate with the prescribing doctor to help make sure you’re on the right medication at the right dosage.

What if I have a question about billing, using my insurance, or other payment issues?

You can go to our “Services and Fees” page to find information about billing. If your question isn’t answered there, contact Ivy Center and someone will get back to you to discuss and answer your question. If you’re already seeing one of our therapists, you should talk with your therapist about any questions related to billing and they will be able to assist you.

What if I have other questions?

Please don’t hesitate to ask Ivy Center any questions regarding our services.