Adult Individual Therapy FAQ

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Adult Individual Therapy Provided By Dr. Kelly Mothner

At some point in our lives, we will all face periods of time when we need additional support. The purpose of therapy is to provide us with the space we need to navigate life’s challenges and ultimately emerge stronger and more resilient, both individually and within our relationships. Even when we know we need help, the decision to seek individual therapy can sometimes still feel daunting. That is why I have broken down some of the most common questions that arise about individual therapy so that you can feel more informed and better prepared to take this next step towards getting the help that you need.
1. Is therapy right for me?

Everybody experiences challenging periods of time in their lives. You may have been able to successfully navigate other difficulties that you have faced in the past on your own or with the help of family or friends, but sometimes it is helpful or necessary to seek out extra support. Therapy not only provides that added support, but there are much longer-term benefits from participating in therapy as well. These can range from building greater self-awareness, improving your interpersonal relationships, enhancing self-confidence, and improving coping strategies for such issues as depression, anxiety, or stress. Therapy is the first step towards achieving a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. How do I know if I need therapy?

The specific issues that bring people into therapy are as diverse and distinct as the people themselves. A common misperception is that only “crazy” people go to therapy. The reality is that people seek therapy for all sorts of reasons. You do not have to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder in order to benefit from therapy. Individuals may see a therapist to address issues ranging from everyday job stress to difficulty coping with specific life phases or transitions (i.e. empty nest, loss of parents, divorce, pregnancy, etc.). Whether you recently went through a painful break-up, you are struggling to juggle your work and home life, you are feeling chronically sad or anxious, or you just need some extra support, therapy can be very helpful in providing the specific type of support and guidance that you need.

3. What issues can individual therapy help with?

Psychotherapy can be a very helpful and effective treatment for a wide range of psychological, emotional, and interpersonal problems. Having a safe and confidential space to voice your worries, explore your struggles, confront difficult topics, and talk openly about your thoughts and feelings can be highly beneficial for individuals dealing with a wide range of issues, including such things as:

  • Stage of life changes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Career or work related challenges
  • Parenting
  • Loss
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Stress management
4. What is unique about your approach to adult therapy?

I believe that the client-therapist relationship provides the foundation for effective therapeutic work to occur. Therefore, my first priority when clients come to see me is to help them determine whether I am a good fit for them and their particular needs. My next step is to create a safe and comfortable environment where my clients can begin exploring those issues that have brought them into therapy. Going beyond simply addressing the immediate symptoms, I help clients explore the underlying issues that are contributing to their current life struggles, emotional distress, or interpersonal problems. Together we look at relationship patterns and ways of thinking that have become a barrier to their happiness and well-being. By helping them develop increased self-awareness and insight and providing them with the tools they need in order to make positive changes in their lives, clients are able to reach their full potential both individually and within their relationships.

5. What are the benefits of getting therapy as an adult?

Though it can be very helpful to open up to close friends and family members about your struggles or problems, there are times when the people around us aren’t able to provide the type of support that we need. When we need that extra bit of support, psychotherapy is a very good option to consider. Therapists are professionally trained to assist clients in understanding the underlying factors contributing to their presenting concerns, help them overcome emotional or interpersonal problems, and support them as they make positive changes in their lives that promote overall mental health and well-being.

6. How long will therapy last?

Therapy typically does not have a set time length. Some problems resolve very quickly while others are more complex and take longer to work through. Usually, I work with adult individuals for at minimum three months, meeting on a weekly basis. I often continue working with them for up to a year or more and then we may transition to once monthly or as needed basis.

8. Will you be prescribing medication?

As a psychotherapist, I specialize in talk therapy and do no prescribe medication. However, if it becomes clear that you could benefit from medication, I will refer you to a psychiatrist who can help address your particular medication needs.

9. How often will we meet?

Therapy typically occurs on a weekly basis. I have found that meeting consistently every week contributes to a stronger therapeutic relationship and enables clients to more effectively address the issues they are struggling with. There are times, however, when it is appropriate to meet more or less frequently based on a client’s current needs.

10. How much does therapy cost?

Therapy sessions cost $200 and are payable by credit card, cash or personal check.

11. Do you take insurance?

I accept PPO health insurance plans as an “out-of-network” provider. It is very helpful to check with your insurance company ahead of time to find out what your coverage is for therapy services with an out-of-network provider. Below are several questions you may want to ask you insurance company about therapy services prior to your first session:

  • Does my insurance plan include mental health insurance benefits?
  • What is my annual deductible, what is its start date, and has it been met yet?
  • How many sessions does my health insurance cover per year?
12. How do I tell my loved ones that I am going to therapy?

Starting therapy takes a significant amount of courage and strength. Because it is often a very personal decision, it can sometimes feel daunting or intimidating to tell the people in your life about this decision. However, talking about therapy with your loved ones allows your support network to be an additional support for you as you go through this process and it is an opportunity to clue them into how they may be able to help. Speaking openly about therapy also allows the people in your life to know that you are committed to growth and change. At the same time, you may also feel it necessary to uphold some boundaries around the content or focus of your therapy sessions to preserve that space as being yours.

13. How can I best support my friend/spouse/family member while they are going through adult therapy?

One of the best things that you can do as a friend/spouse/family member when someone is seeing a therapist is to ask what type of involvement would best facilitate his/her experience in therapy. If you are a spouse or family member, you may be invited into a session to directly address specific issues that he/she is struggling with and figure out how you can most effectively support them.

Adult Therapy In Hermosa Beach & The South Bay Area

Sometimes making the decision to seek therapy can be a challenging one. If you are considering seeking individual therapy, I encourage you to contact me with any questions you may have. You can send me an email, or give me a call at 310-892-2572. I look forward to meeting you in person!