How can therapy help me?

Therapy can offer many benefits.. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and better coping strategies for dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, stress management, “moving on” at times of transition, and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the difficulties of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a problem, or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Moving towards goals
  • Dealing with dissatisfaction about current situation and relationships
  • Promoting healthy self care
  • Improving your relationships
  • Resolving the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life, and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct ineffective patterns, and overcome challenges.


What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives,and are open to considering new perspectives.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?

It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional issues and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication, healthy lifestyle, and therapy is the right course of action.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

Diane Brouder, LMFT accepts many insurance plans.  As a courtesy, her billing manager will check with your insurance company to determine eligibility and coverage.  If you would like to find out if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier before requesting an appointment, you may call the number listed on your insurance card and ask for assistance.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them are:
  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • Does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office.   Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone.  This is called “Informed Consent”.  Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Teacher, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.

What is anxiety?

Many people use the word “anxiety” to mean feelings of nervousness, worry and/or panic which may be brief or long-lasting.  Our bodies have many intricate ways of protecting us from danger:  our immune systems, for example, protect us by fighting bacteria and other biological invaders. Another protective process involves the “fight, flight or freeze”  instinct.  In times of danger, this process protects us by producing adrenaline, revving up our heart rate, increasing oxygen and blood supply to muscles, and getting us ready to fight or run.  This was especially necessary when we lived among animals such as bears and wolves, and would need to be ready if they approached. Modern stress doesn ‘t often require us to fight or run, though; sometimes the best response is to walk away, or try to generate new solutions.  In these cases, the adrenaline has nowhere to go, and creates a stressful situation in the body and mind.  Over time, if we don’t learn ways of dealing with this stress, our bodies become fatigued, we become less able to deal with changes and transitions, and our relationships with other people and with the world can suffer.

How can I get rid of my anxiety?

Since some anxiety is essential for survival (for example, you wouldn’t walk confidently into the road if a large truck was approaching), it is important to appreciate our internal “alarm system.”   Finding balance is the key to feeling better.  Talking with a therapist about what tends to bring up your anxiety can help identify where to start.  Learning how to have a different response to your anxious thoughts and feelings is possible!  Once you learn how to observe your own thoughts and choose your responses, life gets easier to cope with.

Does medication help with anxiety?

There are many anti-anxiety medications on the market.  If your anxiety prevents you from working or maintaining relationships, it is important to see a psychiatrist, APRN or physician who is trained to discuss medication with you and prescribe if necessary.  However, many people find that “talk therapy” can help relieve many anxiety symptoms.   If you take anti-anxiety medication, it is essential to continue therapy in order to learn new ways of dealing with your anxiety.  Medication alone will not “cure” anxiety.

What is the best way to help my anxious child?

Children have much less control over their lives than adults.  When life gets stressful, children can feel more anxiety.  It’s important to remember that in times of family transitions, or even when introducing new experiences such as starting school, children need time to learn about what is happening, and to get their questions answered.  When a child seems to have a pattern of anxious behavior, or if anxiety is preventing your child from getting to school or enjoying friends, it may be time to visit a therapist to learn new ways to manage these feelings.

What can I do to help myself with anxiety, besides medication and therapy?

Any stressor on the body or mind will increase anxiety symptoms, if you have them.  Therefore, good self care is important in preventing and coping with anxiety.  This includes eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise (as approved by your doctor), getting adequate sleep, and staying in touch with friends and family.

If you have further questions about anxiety, or would like to talk about any of the information presented here, please call the office at 860-303-4108 and ask to speak with Diane Brouder.


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126 Boston Post Road
P.O. Box 162

East Lyme, CT 06333


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