111 N. McDonough St.
Decatur, GA 30030
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 ABOUT PSYCHOTHERAPY

We hope the following will address some of your questions and concerns about starting therapy. Please feel free to contact one of us for more information!

Q: “What is psychotherapy?”

A: Psychotherapy, in general terms, is about collaborating with a mental health professional in an effort to bring about emotional and behavioral change.  How therapy “looks” will vary depending on the style of the therapist and the needs of the client.  At Thrive, we believe that effective therapy includes a thorough evaluation, the development of a solid therapeutic relationship, and the process of integrating our clinical knowledge and expertise with your unique needs and experiences.  In this way, we custom develop the best treatment plan for you.

We view therapy as a partnership from the very beginning.  During your initial sessions, your therapist can help you define your expectations for therapy.  You might discuss your previous experiences in treatment, or you might want some "orientation" about what therapy involves. During this "intake session" your therapist will also gather information about your history, your strengths, and your goals.  Then, your therapist will share with you her impressions about what your work together might include.  The therapists of Thrive are interactive in their work with clients, and will provide you with honest and direct feedback in a gentle and supportive manner.   


Q: “What happens during the initial contacts with a Thrive therapist?”

A:  If you would like general information, or are unsure about which therapist is the best match for you, you may contact the general phone number and leave a message. One of us will return your call promptly, and help you decide on a next step.  Or, if you already have a sense for who you would like to work with, you may call that therapist directly at the number listed on this website. 

During the initial phone conversation, you will be asked to briefly discuss the concerns that are bringing you to therapy. Information about availability, fees, office location, and scheduling will be discussed as well.  You are welcome to ask any questions you have at that time.  

In preparation for your first appointment you will be asked to complete intake paperwork. You will have the option of completing this paperwork by printing it from our website (see "forms" page) and bringing it with you to the first appointment, or completing it in our office before your appointment.  You may also be asked to complete some brief paper/pencil assessments, as a way to target and focus on your most pressing concerns. 

As mentioned above, during the first meeting, you and your therapist will further discuss your treatment needs.  She will ask you some questions in order to learn more about you, and you will decide together if you believe you are a good “match” for one another. 


Q: “Do you take insurance?”

A:  Please ask the therapist with whom you intend to work for information about their provider status.   However, all of the Thrive therapists do work with insurance companies, and are considered "out-of-network" providers for many plans.  We recommend that you contact your insurance company and inquire about your mental health benefits (particularly your "out-of-network" benefits).  Your individual therapist will be happy to help you find out more about your plan, if it seems confusing or if you are unfamiliar with the terms.  Further, your therapist will provide you with all the necessary paperwork for filing claims throughout your treatment.  Feel free to call with questions about this; we are happy to further explain how you can use your insurance to pay for therapy.


Q: “What if I think I need to be evaluated for medications or I am already prescribed medications?”

A: At this time, psychologists in Georgia do not prescribe medicine.  However, we often consult with physicians who prescribe medications to our clients and would be happy to refer you to one if a medication consultation is needed.  For college and graduate students, we regularly consult with the physicians at your school's Student Health Service to provide a continuity of care for clients who see them.  We are also able to advise you about whether you might benefit from medicine.

  

Q: “How long can I expect to be in therapy?”

 A:  The length of therapy varies according to the nature, duration, intensity, and frequency of symptoms or problems.  We offer 50-minute sessions, and typically recommend that clients come once per week at least until we get to know one another and develop a treatment plan.  Some clients only come to a few sessions and others come for a year or more.  You and your therapist will decide together what may be the best course of treatment for you.


Q: “What are the benefits of therapy?”

 A:  The benefits of therapy have been shown by scientists in hundreds of well-designed research studies.  People who are depressed may find their mood lifting.  Others may no longer feel afraid, angry, or anxious.  In therapy, people have a chance to talk things out fully until their feelings are relieved or the problems are solved.  Clients’ relationships and coping skills may improve greatly.  They may get more satisfaction out of social and family relationships.  Their personal goals and values may become clearer.  They may grow in many directions as people – in their close relationships, in their work or academics, and in the ability to enjoy their lives.  Change can sometimes be quick and easy, other times it can be slow and frustrating. If you have any concerns about how therapy is going, we encourage you to discuss these concerns with your therapist at any time during your work together.


 Q:  “What about confidentiality?”

A:  Everything that you discuss with a licensed psychologist is kept confidential and private.  There are laws and ethics requirements that we must abide by in order to practice psychology.  Therapy wouldn’t be very effective if clients didn’t feel safe to share whatever they wanted, and this trust is absolutely essential in any important relationship.  You can trust that what you say to your therapist remains confidential, with certain specific exceptions (e.g., disclosing suicidal or homicidal plans, child or elder abuse).

Welcome To Thrive!



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