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Susan C. Stone, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Therapy for Individuals,Couples, Children & Families
Susan C. Stone, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
310.276.7329
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
United States
scsmft@aol.com
Common Questions

Is therapy right for me?


There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety, stress, or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life - such as a divorce or work transition - and the stress that produces or to make a needed decision. Other people  are looking to be the best parents they can be and seek
coaching and the tools to do so. Many seek counseling to pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges.  Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking charge, creating

greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

 
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, a  new perspective, or new strategies.


How can therapy help me?


A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, stress management, relationship troubles,  parenting difficulties, unresolved childhood issues, and grief.. Therapy/coaching can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage or with your children
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships such as Improving communications and listening skills
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
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  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

 
What is therapy like and how long a commitment do I have to make? 


Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term or even single-session focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. In fact, most people don't require medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, which medication does, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You and your therapist will decide together what  treatments will achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being.

 
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

 
Is therapy confidential?


In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.

  However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.


What is the difference between therapy and "coaching"?


Therapy explores the background and connections that exist as a theme in your life and choices. Doing this can lead to a profound change in the way you approach many aspects of your life and relataionships. Therapy can also function in a crisis mode in which you need to make a decision or cope with an unexpected event. On the other hand, coaching is a practical, solution oriented approach which can involve direct advice or stragies for a particular area with which you are struggling - such as parenting issues, coping with aging parents, job issues, etc.