Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my child does not want to come to therapy?
Some adolescents are ok with coming in… and some are not. This is not abnormal. Try to find a small reward that could be given to them for coming to several sessions, which would then allow for a therapeutic relationship to be built. An example could be a new video game or a small increase in their allowance (alongside good behavior, of course).

What is Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
It is described as: “The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others.”

Can you explain the 5 stages of bereavement more?
Bereavement is not only the loss of a loved one in death, but also the loss of the life we once had, due to trauma. The first stage is denial. This is usually the shortest one. Then the next three can go in different order. One is Bargaining, which is us trying to do something that will make the problem go away. Then there is Anger, which can be directed towards others, or oneself. Then there is Depression. This one can easily become long-term, if the PTSD is not dealt with in a therapeutic way. Finally there is Acceptance, which is the final stage.

How do I know if my family member or I am an “addict?”
There is a link, which I’ve provided below, that includes 20 questions that were created by John Hopkins University Hospital. Take this survey to help answer that question.

How do I tell my family members I’m dealing with an addiction?
This depends on several things. If you have a supportive family this can be hard for them to hear, but usually they would like to know how they could help. In other situations it can be safer to tell them in a controlled setting (like a therapists office) with a third party there (me) to buffer the situation. It is a rare case that it’s beneficial to keep it a secret. Not only may that affect the relationship, but also one’s own ability to recover.

How long does therapy take?
Therapy can last various lengths of time for both individuals and families. For some people there is a situation that has just arisen that needs to be dealt with, which doesn’t take too long. For others there is a complex family system, or symptoms that go way back. In these situations therapy can take longer. I don’t want to create therapy sessions that are dreaded! One of my goals is for the therapy process to feel good, not be painful! I have several clients that continue to come in consistently to keep on progressing, even when the initial problems have been dealt with.