Frequently Asked Questions

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Couples Therapy

Individual Therapy

Life Coaching

How do I obtain Therapy or Life Coaching?
If possible, I prefer to see clients in person at my Del Mar, California, office, so we can share the unique personal connections that arise from face-to-face experiences. But I do understand that coming to my office each week can be challenging, or you might wish to use my services and not live anywhere near Del Mar. I currently do Skype sessions with some of my clients and am available to work with clients via phone or Skype/webcam.

Because I am licensed in California, I can provide therapy services to California residents and life coaching services to clients anywhere.

Questions About Therapy
Is therapy right for me?
People seek out therapy for many reasons. Often times they want to deal with long-standing difficulties, frustrations, or unexpected changes in their lives. Pursue personal exploration and growth is also a reason for initiating therapy. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life and wants to create greater self-awareness and make positive changes in their life.

How can therapy help me?
Therapy can provide you with emotional support, problem-solving skills and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as relationship troubles, unresolved current or childhood pain, grief, stress, depression, anxiety and other challenges. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

* Developing skills for improving your relationships including communication skills
* Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
* Finding resolution to the specific issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
* Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
* Managing anger, grief, depression and other emotional pressures
* Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
* Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each client’s specific goals. In general, therapists generally discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during weekly therapy sessions. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth.

Generally a therapist provides:

* Compassion, respect and understanding
* Perspectives to illuminate and change persistent patterns and negative feelings
* Effective strategies for enacting positive change

Is medication a substitute for therapy?
Medication is not a substitution for therapy, although in some cases medication is helpful and requires the prescription of your medical doctor or psychiatrist. Research indicates that medication alone cannot provide long-term solutions to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause in your life. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of clients’ distress.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communication between a client and therapist. The therapist cannot disclose information without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, required by law. Exceptions include:

* If the therapist suspects child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
* If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
* If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if the client does not cooperate, the therapist may need to take additional actions.

Questions About Life Coaching
Is life coaching right for me?
Life coaching could benefit you if you are a high-functioning person who wants to enhance your quality of life in a goal-focused way. Therapy is more appropriate if you have emotional issues such as depression or anxiety, or unresolved psychological issues such as grief, relationship dysfunction or low self-esteem.

You would be a good candidate for life coaching if you are relatively happy with your life but want to address a particular issue that’s been on the back burner for too long and you need some help with it.

How can life coaching help me?
A life coach will help you focus on specifics and stay motivated. There is a specific focus on your life goals and dreams. First we assess your life and determine your goals. Then I’ll be there to monitor you progress and to question your dedication to your goal if you’re not taking the steps necessary to achieve it. Having someone outside of yourself participate in your self-growth can provide the necessary objectivity and accountability to turn your dreams into reality.

What is life coaching like?
First we meet for the initial assessment session. In the early stages of coaching, we will determine and prioritize the goals you think would contribute the most meaningful improvements to your life. Then we will break those goals down into action steps.
At the beginning of each session, we will review your progress of the previous week. You will then determine the topic for the rest of the current session, and we will brainstorm ideas and generate action steps for the coming week. You can work on one goal at a time or address multiple ones simultaneously.

Is life coaching confidential?
Since I am also a licensed therapist, I use the same confidentiality rules in life coaching as I do in my therapeutic work. (see “Is therapy confidential” right above this section.) The issues that require breaches of confidentiality in therapy, such as suspected child or elder abuse, rarely arise in life coaching. We will be focusing on the positive, finding ways to propel you forward into the life you dream of.

Questions to ask your Insurance Company:

“I would like to verify my insurance coverage for outpatient mental health services with an out of network provider.”

• What is my deductible? • What is my deductible period? Is it a calendar year? • What percentage will you pay for each session? • Is this percentage based on the actual billed amount? • Is there a maximum number of sessions per calendar year? • Do the sessions need to be preapproved or certified for payment? • If yes, how often do they need to be preapproved? • What is the procedure for preapproval? • What is the address to mail claims for payment? • Is couples therapy covered (if applicable)? • Are any diagnoses excluded? Which ones? • How long does it take to get reimbursed?

© 2008 - 2014 Jennifer Lehr, MFT