Is this fairly normal in therapy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-10-2010, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been seeing a psychologist for a few months. It's going pretty well. I believe my insurance limits the number of times I can have therapy covered by insurance, so I mentioned to the therapist that I did want to stay conscious of how many times we had met. Her response gave me the impression that she thought I could possibly be seeing her for years. I was a little too shocked to ask a question about that right away. I don't know that the "issues" I've presented so far merit years of therapy, but I also appreciate the support I get from it, etc. Does anyone understand how a therapist might think about this?
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#2 of 6 Old 02-10-2010, 10:43 PM
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If you have a certain number of times that insurance will cover therapy, you and your therapist need to come up with a list of goals for you to meet. For example, if you're in therapy for anxiety, then you want to focus on anxiety and not other issues, which would take up your therapy hours. I think that being in therapy for years can be helpful for people with many serious issues. A great therapist will help you figure out your issues, and find ways of coping and working through your stuff on your own so that you don't become dependent on therapy. It seems like you need to talk with your therapist about what you hope to get out of therapy, and come up with a plan for meeting those goals.
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#3 of 6 Old 02-11-2010, 12:24 AM
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My therapist told me I was done after about 14 months of once a week visits. I met all of my goals and then I was done. Scared, but done. For now

Your therapist should ask you what your goals are, and help you to get the most out of your sessions. Good luck

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#4 of 6 Old 02-11-2010, 12:59 AM
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If money isn't an issue, and you are enjoying the sessions, I wouldn't worry about the number of times you see her, or how long she thinks you need to see her.

As far as insurance coverage, you could just call the insurance company directly and ask them how many visits you get, and what's required to get them extended if need be. If it's approval from your psychologist than it sounds like she will probably approve as many as she can.
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#5 of 6 Old 02-11-2010, 05:55 AM
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It also depends on her theoretical orientation- some therapists practice types of therapy that do normally last years. Some therapists practice solely "brief" therapy, where they focus very specifically on one problem and try to get you out of there in 20 sessions or (usually) much less. Many therapists fall somewhere in between, basing length of treatment on factors like the issues you bring to therapy, your daily functioning etc.

You might want to ask her about this- if you have no intention of doing therapy for years, and she practices a school of therapy that requires years, you might have something to think about.

On the other hand, she might have legitimate reasons for thinking so- maybe in her experience, clients with your issues normally take a few years. Or maybe she assumed you were planning on years and needs a redirect. Or perhaps you misunderstood her response and she wasnt implying it could take years at all. I'd ask her up front, then you'll know for sure what you're dealing with.
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#6 of 6 Old 02-11-2010, 11:25 AM
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FYI the Mental Health Parity Law which went into effect Jan 1. indicates that large group insurance plans cannot limit the number of sessions of therapy for treatment of a mental disorder. Not sure if this applies to you or not.

But yes, some therapies require long term commitment. These therapies are more in depth, insight-oriented and really get to the root of the issue (if you have a good therapist). But, your therapist should have laid this out at the beginning.
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