How long does therapy take?

Dr. Andre, How long will therapy take?

How long therapy takes depends on the issues, what the client wants to
accomplish,and how engaged the client is in the therapy.  For this reason,
it is important to clearly identify the client’s goals at the start of
therapy and give the client a rough idea of what methods or techniques will
be used to get to those goals.  This helps clients get a better idea of
what the time span would be.

Some examples for length of therapy are:

Couples counseling, if the couple want to change some patterns in their
relationship this would average from three to six months to clarify the
goals and work through how to make the desired changes.  It takes practice
and support to change patterns that have been in place for a while.

Transitions such as making a career change or committing to a relationship
can often be worked through in three to ten sessions.  The person needs
help weighing their options and usually knows on a deeper level their own
answers but needs help getting to those answers.

Issues such as depression or anxiety can often be alleviated in 5 to 10
sessions if they are a matter of the person being in denial about changes
that needs to be made in their life.  Sometimes in working on these issues
other problems such as early abuse will surface and this can require more
long term work.

Physical or sexual abuse  or serious family dysfunction especially at a
young age can require a year or two of therapy.  The imprints made on a
young mind are much deeper and interfere with normal development, so
children or adults who have experienced this as a child can expect to be
involved in long term therapy.  However, this time frame which would have
been 5 – 10 years in the past has been greatly sped up with the new
therapies that help to open up neural pathways and release the energy
charge held in the body from the traumas.

These are therapies such as EMDR, AIT, EFT and Energy Psychology.

How do I get my point across without sounding angry?

How do I get my point across without sounding angry?

 The best way to get another person to really hear what we are trying to say consists of two main actions.  

  1. Never try to get an important point across when either of you is angry, but especially when the other person is angry.  If you are angry, the person is going to be defensive because of your anger, and not really focus on what you are saying.  If they do hear what you are saying, they are likely to just dismiss it out of defensiveness.  If the other person is angry, they are too overwhelmed by their own cortisol levels (our stress hormone) for their brain to be able to receive any input anyway.  So the best course of action is to wait to discuss it until both of you are calmed down and able to remain calm when talking about it.
  2. When you do discuss your point, use what we call “I language.”  Talk about your feelings, your goals, and what is or is not working for you.  Talk about yourself, aka “I.”  So instead of saying, “Why do you always take the kids’ side?  You know that pisses me off”, you would say “When i hear you say that I am too harsh of a parent, I assume you are taking the kids’ side instead of finding a way to work with me on this.  Is this right?  I get really frustrated because it is important to me that we are united in our parenting.  I worry that we won’t be good at standing together in situations like this.”  Obviously, the second response is much easier the other person to hear and respond to.  It makes him/her much less defensive because you are not putting him/her on the hot seat.  Instead you are just explaining your concerns and inviting them to talk with you about it.

Try saying “I feel this way about…” instead of “Why do YOU always….”

Contributed by  Michelle Haeur

How can we make our marriage they way it used to be?

How can we stop fighting all the time, and get our marriage back how it used to be? All we have now is a lot of built up resentments.

Dr Andre,

How can we stop fighting all the time, and get our marriage back how it used to be? All we have now is a lot of built up resentments.Healthy communication is very important to developing and maintaining a good relationship.  Each person in the couple needs to learn the practice the skills of good communication.  Each person’s goals and needs in the relationship have to be validated in the relationship.  This doesn’t always mean needs to get met, but they are respected as important to each person.  Successful relationships are based on a win-win approach and allowing give and take to work together.  Resentments build after a person feels their needs have not been respected for a while.  Resentments are signs that the relationship is in true danger.  However, when two people make real effort to discuss and then release resentments, choosing instead to focus on meeting the desires of the other moving forward, resentments can be resolved.

In general, where there is a commitment, willingness for the marriage to thrive, honesty and trust, most couples can benefit from new ways to problem-solve, communicate, and develop healthier coping skills to replace old habitual responses.

Contributed by Jan Doty, North Shore Counseling & Wellness

…choosing instead to focus on meeting the desires of the other moving forward, resentments can be resolved.

Overcoming Depression

Of all mental health problems, depression is the most common, so much so that it has been referred to as the “common cold” of mental disorders. As common as it is, depression can have a devastating effect on individuals and their families, as well as having a major impact on society.  It is estimated that about 5 percent of the population are clinically depressed but it is estimated that as many as one person in three may experience an episode of depression during the course of their lifetime.

Of all mental health problems, depression is the most common 

Depressed mood is usually the central feature although a number of other symptoms are common in depression.  These include a loss of enjoyment, interest and energy; disturbed appetite, sleep and libido; agitation or slowing of movement; poor concentration and mental slowing; negative thinking and hopelessness; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; and thoughts of death or suicide. Depressive disorders are categorized in terms of severity and duration of symptoms, and the psychological causes of depression are far from straightforward.  Stress that will trigger depression in one individual may have barely any impact on another.

The biological aspects regarding depression can range from physical illnesses to genetic predispositions, as well as a strong genetic component associated with the more severe mood disorders. Theories also exist concerning the involvement the neurotransmitters of the brain itself, so it is therefore imperative to consult with a physician.  It is the role of the mental health professional to identify and restructure maladaptive behavior patterns.  By client’s identifying and alleviating negative beliefs and perceptions they can develop new abilities to increase self-efficacy when faced with difficult life situations.

Contributed by Kristen UnKauf, PhD

If you would like more specific information regarding your happiness and healthy relationships, please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

How much does therapy cost?

Dr. Andre, How much is Therapy?

The four factors that most affect the cost of therapy are Mental Health insurance benefits, level of education of the therapist, sliding scales and session length.

  1. If you have mental health insurance benefits this will significantly reduce your cost of therapy.  Most insurance policies will have a deductible that you need to meet for mental health coverage before they provide coverage.  Typical copays range from $10-$40 per session.  However, there are many insurance plans out there, and each therapy office will accept only certain plans.  So it is important to verify if the provider you are considering accepts your insurance plan.
  2. The level of education or training of the therapist affects the cost of therapy.  Therapists new in the field and working on their licensure or who just received their license tend to charge less than those with more experience, training or education.  Certainly, new therapists can be excellent therapists, but they often price themselves a little lower than their more experienced counterparts.
  3. Some people offer sliding scales, which allow clients to pay less based on their income or ability to pay.  Again, this is often the case with newer therapists who are trying to build a business and a reputation.  Sliding scales can be very helpful in getting services to people who might not otherwise be able to afford a full-fee session.
  4. The length of the session will affect the fee. A 90 minute session will cost more than a 55-60 minute session.

Our offices provide sliding scale fees and we also accept many insurance plans.  At Northshore and Southshore Counseling and Wellness, we will call your insurance company for you and determine what your benefits are on your behalf. If you would like more specific information regarding the cost of therapy and counseling, please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie, La (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville, La (985) 624-2942.

Dr Andre Judice, North Shore Counseling & Wellness

How can I get through to my teenage daughter?

Dr. Andre,

How can I get through to my teenage daughter? All we ever do is butt heads, and get nowhere. She’s 15 going on 30 and I’m losing my hair over this. Thanks for any help you can offer.

 

Communication styles, ways of problem solving, and parenting styles are important aspects of getting through to teens.

It is important to have a strong and healthy belief about what one’s role as a parent first, and then how one wishes to relate according to their values, beliefs, and principles. In this way, during the years of raising and living with teens one can operate more easily from a solid set of priorities.

In a vast majority of cases, once the teen knows he has a supportive, listening parent and at the same time he is the one choosing his behaviors/consequences, things start to solidify in a  more stable manner.

If you would like more specific information regarding your happiness and healthy relationships, please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

Response from Therapist Jan Doty