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How do I find a good therapist, or the therapist who is right for me?
Often the best way to find a therapist is to ask around. If you are comfortable doing so, you can ask people you know who they have seen and ask them about their experience. You can also use the internet, doing a search for someone who specializes in the issues you are concerned about. Make sure that whoever you call has specialized training in the problems you are dealing with (for example, depression, anxiety, couples counseling, healing trauma, etc.). Once you have found some names talk to the people on the phone – do they take the time to talk to you? Are you comfortable talking to them? Do they seem to understand your concerns? When you find someone you feel comfortable with schedule an initial appointment. What is most important is that you “click.” If you are not comfortable with someone no matter how brilliant they are, they can’t help you. If the chemistry is right you will know it after the first few sessions. If not, don’t be afraid to keep looking. Each of us is different and you deserve to find someone to help you whom you can really trust and count on.
What is therapy like?
Good therapy is most importantly about meeting your needs. Different therapists are trained in different techniques, but we share a commitment to helping you to heal and grow. Regardless of modality or training, therapy is about getting unstuck and healing the pain of the past. Among the things you may do in a therapy session are:
- Talk about your problems, issues and concerns;
- explore where these problems may be coming from;
- try on new ways of seeing things and new ways of handling situations that come up in your life.
Depending on your therapist’s training, your therapist will use different ways of helping you with your problems and concerns.
What does a therapist do?
Listen, explore, explain, suggest interpretations or explanations, care about you, support you, and occasionally challenge you to try handling things differently.
What happens in an initial or first therapy session?
After completing some brief paper work you will be asked about why you are here and what kind of help you want. Usually we will take some time to discuss your history and some of your important background information. You will also be asked what your goals are for the therapy and how you would like things to be different when you finish. We will then decide on the most helpful approach and discuss the best way to structure our work together (how often to meet, whether to include a workshop or support group in our work, and how long the sessions should be).
What is my job in a therapy session?
Your job in your therapy process is to be honest, to be open, to ask for what you need, raise issues that concern you and to let your therapist know if something feels uncomfortable. If you and your therapist agree on between session “homework” (reading, meditating or prayer, or perhaps trying to handle something in a different way) do your best to follow through and make sure to then talk to your therapist about what it felt like in your next session.
How long does a session last?
At the Sagebrush Center therapy sessions are a full hour long. We will usually start winding down 5 minutes before the hour is over so we have time to set up our next session and discuss any homework or follow through. If you are traveling a long distance, or if you would like to have longer sessions we can schedule 1 12/ hour or 2 hour sessions as well. In some circumstances half or full day sessions may be advisable (see the page on Intensives).
How long can I expect therapy to last?
The simple answer is that it lasts as long as you wish it to. Because we are not associated with any insurance companies we are free to work with you to structure your therapy in the way that works best for you. Everybody is different, and some issues and problems take longer than others to resolve. A basic guideline is that the longer the problem has been building without being addressed, the more time it may take to resolve it. The other factor is how hard you are willing to work between sessions. The more time and energy you are able to allocate to working on your issues, the more quickly things will move and you will experience healing and relief sooner.
How is Imago Therapy different from other types of couple’s therapy?
One important difference between Imago Therapy and other forms of couple’s therapy is that the focus is on the space or energy between the two of you. After your initial session for the most part you will be talking and interacting with each other, with your therapist to guide and coach you. Imago therapy is a “health based model.” In other words, we look for strengths to build on instead of focusing on pathology. Your Imago Therapist will help you to see yourself and your partner with compassion and to learn to understand your relationship dynamics. Imago Therapists focus on teaching you to communicate effectively and coach you on ways to nurture the love, connection and romance in the relationship.
Do you accept insurance?
We do not bill any insurance companies directly. This policy enables us to protect your confidentiality and to make sure that you are in control of your own therapy experience. We ask that you pay for your therapy after each session. We would be happy to prepare a receipt for you that you can submit to your insurance company for out of network reimbursement.
What forms of payment do you accept?
You may pay with cash, check or by credit card.
What does it mean that you have a sliding scale?
We believe that good therapy should be affordable to everyone, regardless of income. If you choose to use the sliding scale your fee would be based upon your family’s annual income. To determine where you fit on the sliding scale go to the “About the Center” page.
Do I need to bring proof of income with me?
No, the therapeutic relationship is based upon mutual trust. We trust you to set your fee at a level that is fair and that you can afford.
What if I don’t wish to use the sliding scale?
Our base fee is $150 an hour.
What if I have special circumstances?
If you have special circumstances such as being unemployed or high medical bills give us a call and we will figure out a fee that you are comfortable with.
What is your cancellation policy?
In general we ask that you give us 24 hours notice if you cannot make your session. Sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice are subject to a $25 late cancellation fee. If you cancel less than two hours before the session you are responsible for the full cost of the session.
What is your confidentiality policy?
Whatever is shared with your therapist will be kept strictly confidential unless you give us written permission otherwise or threaten to hurt yourself or someone else. If you are in couples’ therapy and share privately any information that would be harmful to your relationship you will be asked to bring this information up in a couples’ session.
Do you ever testify in legal proceedings?
No. Our policy is never to testify in legal proceedings so that you can always be honest in your therapy session without worrying about the legal consequences of what you say.
When is a Getting the Love You Want Workshop appropriate?
The Getting the Love You Want Workshop is appropriate for any couple in a committed relationship who want to strengthen their connection. Whether you are just starting out and want to build your relationship on a solid foundation, or have been together for years and want to resolve long-standing issues and renew your love and passion for each other, the Getting the Love You Want Workshop will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of intimate relationships, and concrete, easy to use tools to help you communicate your needs and concerns.
How is the Getting the Love You Want Workshop different from regular therapy?
The Getting the Love You Want Workshop is educational in nature rather than therapeutic. Together with other couples you will be learning about what makes relationships work and why they sometimes falter and you will have opportunities to learn and practice new skills. Because the workshop is 20 hours long in a concentrated period of time you will be able to make progress quickly on your issues as each part of the workshop builds on the previous section.
Will we have to share our private issues in front of the group?
No, while there are small group discussions, no one has to share anything they wish to keep private. When you are practicing the new skills you are learning you will be able to do it privately.
We want to attend the workshop but are worried we can’t afford it. What should we do?
Give us a call. We are committed to making the workshop affordable to all who need it. We offer a variety of scholarships, discounts and payment plans. We have never turned anyone away.
What kind of follow up do you recommend after the workshop?
We strongly encourage you to schedule several follow up sessions with your regular therapist so that you can consolidate what you have learned. Talk to him or her about what kind of continuing support you will need.
What is the difference between the Start Right Stay Connected and the Getting the Love You Want Workshops?
Start Right Stay Connected is for engaged and recently married couples. The focus is on learning the basics of healthy relationship and starting the marriage off with good habits. The Getting the Love You Want Workshop is longer and looks more in depth at where conflict comes from and takes more time to explore the existing dynamics of your relationship. It is appropriate for any couple who have been together for several years.
Do we need to be straight/heterosexual to attend these programs?
All Sagebrush Center programs are open to anyone who is interested in building healthy relationships regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, religion or ethnic identity.