Frequently Asked Questions

Our Services

Starting therapy is easy. Simply submit this form online, or you can give us a call at 248-717-1232 or send us an email at hello@riveroakspsychology.com to schedule an appointment. Our friendly and compassionate team is here to support you every step of the way. During your initial contact, we will gather some basic information and discuss your needs and availability. We will work together to discuss insurance coverage and other details. We are proud to offer a welcoming and confidential opportunity where you can explore your concerns and work towards your goals. We look forward to connecting with you and helping you embark on your therapeutic journey.

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We understand that cost is an important consideration when seeking therapy services. The cost of therapy can vary based on factors such as session duration, frequency, and the expertise of the therapist you see (we do not have a practice-wide rate, it depends on the therapist you see). Additionally, if you plan to use health insurance, your fees will depend solely on your insurance coverage. To provide you with accurate and detailed information about therapy costs, we encourage you to contact us directly. We will be happy to discuss private pay rates and insurance coverage options. 

Please read about your insurance responsibility.

Learn about our payment process.

The ability to use your health insurance for therapy depends on various factors, including the specific therapist you see and whether they are in-network with your insurance provider. Some therapists are in-network with certain insurance plans, which means they have an agreement to provide services at a predetermined rate. In this case, you may be able to use your health insurance to cover a portion of the therapy fees. However, it’s important to note that not all therapists accept the same insurance or participate in every insurance network. To determine if your health insurance can be used, we encourage you to contact us.

Please read about your insurance responsibility.

Learn about our payment process.

Yes. We aim to streamline the paperwork process to make it as convenient and efficient as possible for our clients. Prior to your appointment, you will be provided access to our secure client portal, where you can conveniently complete all necessary paperwork electronically. These documents include intake forms, personal information, consent forms, and any other relevant information that will help us better understand your needs and provide you with the best possible care. We kindly request that you complete these documents at least 24 hours before your first appointment to ensure that we have ample time to review and prepare for your session. By completing the paperwork in advance, you allow us to focus on your therapeutic needs during your appointment, maximizing the time we spend together. We understand the importance of your privacy and the security of your personal information, which is why our client portal adheres to strict confidentiality protocols. Should you have any questions or encounter any difficulties while completing the paperwork, we will be more than happy to assist you.

Telehealth allows individuals to access therapy sessions remotely, without the need for in-person appointments. With telehealth, therapy becomes more accessible and convenient, breaking down barriers such as distance, transportation limitations, and scheduling conflicts. Through secure video conferencing platforms, individuals can connect with their therapists from the comfort of their own homes or any other private location, as long as they are physically within the state in which their therapist is licensed to provide psychotherapy. Telehealth offers the same level of professionalism, confidentiality, and effectiveness as traditional in-person therapy sessions. At River Oaks Psychology, we are committed to providing exceptional telehealth services that empower individuals to embark on their therapeutic journey with ease and convenience.

Learn more about telehealth.

Yes, at our therapy office, we exclusively provide telehealth services. We understand the importance of accessibility and convenience in today’s fast-paced world, which is why we have chosen to offer therapy sessions through secure online platforms. With telehealth, you can receive therapy from the comfort and privacy of your own home, eliminating the need for travel and allowing for greater flexibility in scheduling appointments. Our telehealth services maintain the same level of professionalism, confidentiality, and effectiveness as in-person therapy. Through video sessions, our highly qualified therapists are dedicated to providing you with the support and guidance you need.

Learn more about telehealth.

You have to be physically located in a state where your therapist is licensed to practice. While telehealth eliminates the need for in-person appointments, there are certain limitations regarding where you can be located for telehealth sessions. Our therapists are licensed to practice within specific states, and therefore, you must be physically located in the state where your therapist is licensed to provide services. This requirement ensures that we adhere to state regulations and professional standards of care. However, within the boundaries of the licensed state, you have the flexibility to access therapy from the comfort of your own home, office, or any private space where you feel comfortable. Our goal is to make therapy as convenient and accessible as possible while prioritizing compliance with legal and ethical guidelines.

Although telehealth is online, there are important legal and ethical considerations to keep in mind. As therapists, we are bound by state licensing regulations, which require us to be licensed in the state where our patients are physically located during the therapy sessions. This ensures that we are practicing within the legal and ethical boundaries set by the state licensing boards and upholding the standards of care specific to each jurisdiction. While we acknowledge the potential for connecting with therapists across borders, our commitment is to provide therapy services within the scope of our licensing and in compliance with state regulations. We strive to offer high-quality therapy services to individuals within the states where our therapists are licensed, ensuring that our patients receive the professional and legally sound support they deserve.

If you have upcoming travel out of state, we recommend discussing it with your therapist in advance. It is crucial to communicate with your therapist to determine the options available to you during your time away. They can help guide you on the best course of action and discuss any potential limitations or alternatives for therapy sessions while you are away. Our therapists will work with you to find the best solution and ensure continuity of care, taking into account the specific circumstances and regulations involved.

No, at River Oaks Psychology, we currently only provide telehealth services and do not offer face-to-face therapy sessions in person. Telehealth therapy allows you to receive the same level of professional care and support through secure online platforms, all from the comfort of your own space. It eliminates the need for travel and offers greater flexibility in scheduling sessions. If you have any questions or concerns about our telehealth services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to support you.

Learn more about telehealth.

No. We believe that the use of video during therapy sessions offers a more comprehensive and effective therapeutic experience and we strive to replicate the face-to-face therapy experience as closely as possible. Visual cues, such as facial expressions and body language, play a vital role in communication and understanding between the patient and therapist. They provide valuable insights and allow for a deeper connection and engagement during the session. Non-verbal cues can often convey emotions and nuances that may not be captured through audio alone. Additionally, the visual component helps ensure a more accurate interpretation of the patient’s experiences, contributing to a more personalized and tailored approach to therapy. We recognize the importance of privacy and confidentiality and maintain strict protocols to safeguard your personal information during video sessions. Our aim is to provide the highest quality therapy experience, and we believe that video sessions contribute significantly to achieving this goal.

Learn more about telehealth.

No. Never. Rest assured knowing that your video sessions will never be recorded. We understand the importance of maintaining a safe and secure therapeutic environment, and part of that commitment includes ensuring that your sessions remain completely private and confidential. We respect the sensitive nature of therapy and the trust you place in us as your therapists. Your video sessions will only occur in real-time, allowing for open and candid discussions without any recording or storage of the session content. Our goal is to create a space where you feel comfortable, heard, and understood, and we uphold strict ethical standards to protect your privacy throughout the telehealth therapy process.

During your first therapy appointment, it is common to have a mix of emotions, including anticipation, nervousness, and relief. The initial session is typically focused on establishing a strong therapeutic relationship and gaining a comprehensive understanding of your concerns and goals. Your therapist will create a safe and supportive environment where you can openly discuss your reasons for seeking therapy, any specific issues you want to address, and your personal background. They may ask questions to gather information about your mental health history, current symptoms, and relevant life experiences. It’s an opportunity to tell your therapist about yourself.

Our therapists look forward to meeting people in the first session and it should be casual, relaxed, warm, and welcoming. Together, you and your therapist can decide your goals for treatment and talk about what you would like to work on. The therapist might also provide you with an overview of their approach to therapy and answer any questions you may have. It is essential to communicate openly and honestly during this session, as it sets the foundation for future sessions. Remember that therapy is a collaborative process, and your therapist is there to support you on your journey toward healing, growth, and well-being. Your active participation and willingness to engage fully in the therapeutic work will be paramount to your progress.

It depends on the individual. There is no single answer for how long treatment should or will last. The duration of therapy can vary widely depending on several factors, including the specific goals, individual needs, and the nature of the issues being addressed. Some individuals may engage in short-term therapy, which typically lasts for a few weeks to a few months. Short-term therapy is often focused on addressing specific concerns or providing immediate support during a challenging time. In contrast, others may opt for long-term therapy, which can span several months or even years. Long-term therapy allows for deeper exploration, personal growth, and addressing complex or deep-rooted issues. The frequency and duration of therapy sessions are usually determined collaboratively between the patient and the therapist, taking into account progress, treatment goals, and individual circumstances.

It’s important to remember that therapy is a unique process for each individual, and the duration can be flexible and adjusted based on progress and ongoing needs. Further, some patients may feel they have resolved their initial concerns but continue to return on an “as-needed-basis” when new struggles surface. Together you and your therapist will discuss what might work best for you.

We understand that there may be instances where having another person present during a therapy session can be beneficial and supportive to your therapeutic journey. We welcome the opportunity to explore this option further and determine if it aligns with your specific needs and goals. It is important to note that the inclusion of another person in your therapy session requires careful consideration and discussion with your therapist. In order to proceed, a Release of Information form would need to be signed, granting your written permission for the presence of the additional individual in your sessions. This form ensures that everyone involved understands and respects the confidential nature of therapy and the importance of maintaining privacy. It allows your therapist to have open and honest communication with all parties involved, ensuring a collaborative and supportive environment. We encourage you to discuss your specific situation with your therapist, and together, you can determine the best approach to meet your unique needs. Our priority is to provide a supportive and confidential environment where you feel comfortable and empowered on your therapeutic journey.

No. Currently, we do not have medication providers on our staff. Medication prescribing falls under the domain of medical professionals, such as psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, or physicians. These professionals have specific training and qualifications to evaluate and prescribe medications based on their medical expertise. Therapists, on the other hand, focus on addressing emotional, psychological, and behavioral concerns through talk therapy and various therapeutic techniques. If you believe medication may be beneficial for your mental health, it is advisable to consult with a qualified medical professional who can assess your specific needs and determine the appropriate course of action, including the consideration of medication if necessary.

Please note that if you would like us to have any contact with your medication-prescriber, share therapy progress updates, or collaborate in any way, we will assist you with completing written documentation giving your consent to allow this. Due to therapist-patient confidentiality, we will not be able to coordinate care with ANY professionals outside of River Oaks Psychology without your written consent.

If you are already taking psychiatric medications – or if you have taken any in the past – this is important information for your therapist to know. Please discuss this at the onset of treatment.

Sometimes. It depends on your therapist’s trainings or certifications, which may or may not equip them to legitimately provide documentation needs like this. Any documentation needs should be discussed with your therapist. Your therapist will let you know if your requests can be fulfilled or whether your documentation needs would be better served by another professional.

About Therapy

Determining if therapy is right for you is a personal decision that depends on various factors. Therapy can be beneficial for individuals facing a wide range of challenges, including mental health concerns, relationship difficulties, life transitions, self-exploration, or personal growth. It provides a supportive and non-judgmental space where you can explore your thoughts, emotions, and experiences with a trained professional. If you are experiencing distress, feeling stuck, or facing persistent issues that affect your well-being and daily functioning, therapy may be a valuable resource. It can offer guidance, perspective, and tools to help you navigate challenges, develop coping strategies, and promote personal growth. It’s important to consider your readiness and willingness to engage in the therapeutic process, as well as your commitment to attending sessions regularly and actively participating in the therapy journey. Ultimately, the decision to pursue therapy is highly individual, and it may be helpful to consult with a mental health professional who can assess your specific needs and provide guidance tailored to your circumstances.

Yes, it is entirely normal to go to therapy. Seeking therapy is a proactive step towards taking care of your mental and emotional well-being. Just as we prioritize our physical health by visiting doctors or seeking medical help when needed, therapy offers the opportunity to address and improve our mental health. Many people, regardless of their background, experience difficulties, challenges, or emotional distress at different points in their lives. Therapy provides a supportive and professional environment where you can explore your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with a trained therapist who can offer guidance and support. It is a common and effective resource for individuals seeking personal growth, coping skills, emotional healing, or assistance with specific mental health issues. Whether you are facing a particular challenge or simply aiming to enhance your overall well-being, going to therapy is a positive and normal decision.

Therapy is helpful for numerous reasons. It provides a safe and non-judgmental space where you can openly express your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Therapists are trained professionals who can actively listen, offer support, and provide valuable insights. Through therapy, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your emotions, and your behavioral patterns. It helps you develop coping strategies, improve problem-solving skills, and enhance self-esteem. Therapy also offers a structured approach to address specific issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, or relationship difficulties. It can empower you to make positive changes, set and achieve goals, and build healthier relationships. Ultimately, therapy can facilitate personal growth, increase self-awareness, and help you navigate life’s challenges with greater resilience and well-being.

Therapy differs from talking to a friend in several important ways. While both therapy and conversations with friends can offer support and a listening ear, therapy is a structured and professional process guided by a trained therapist. Therapists are neutral, objective professionals who provide a safe and confidential space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and concerns without judgment. They are trained to employ evidence-based techniques and interventions tailored to your specific needs. Therapy also involves a therapeutic relationship built on trust, where the focus is solely on your well-being. Unlike conversations with friends, therapy sessions are dedicated to your growth, self-discovery, and addressing mental health concerns through a structured and goal-oriented approach. Therapists bring expertise, specialized knowledge, and techniques to facilitate insight, provide guidance, and help you develop coping strategies.

The terms “counseling” and “therapy” are often used interchangeably, and the distinction between them can vary depending on context and individual perspectives. The definitions are highly debated. Some people view counseling as a process that focuses on specific issues or challenges, such as career concerns, relationship difficulties, or academic problems. It may involve short-term interventions and is aimed at providing guidance, support, and practical solutions to address immediate concerns. On the other hand, some people view therapy as a broader term that encompasses a range of therapeutic approaches and interventions. It may delve deeper into the underlying emotions, thoughts, and patterns of behavior that contribute to an individual’s overall well-being. Some people believe therapy is more long-term and can be beneficial for addressing complex mental health issues, exploring personal growth, and gaining insight into deeper emotional processes. However, these ideas are not fixed.

Ultimately, while the terms counseling and therapy may have nuanced differences, both aim to provide support and assistance to individuals in navigating life’s challenges and promoting overall mental and emotional well-being. Feel free to use either term in our work together or let us know which you prefer.

Therapists can have different letters behind their names to signify their specific qualifications, training, and areas of expertise. These letters often represent professional credentials and licenses obtained through education, clinical experience, and certification processes. Common letters you may encounter include LMSW (Licensed Master’s Social Worker), LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology), and many more. These designations reflect the therapist’s educational background, degree, and the licensing requirements of their respective disciplines.

The terms “psychotherapist,” “psychologist,” and “psychiatrist” refer to professionals in the mental health field, but they differ in their training, qualifications, and scope of practice. A psychotherapist is a broad term that encompasses professionals who provide therapy or counseling to individuals, couples, or groups. They can have different educational backgrounds and credentials, such as licensed social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, or psychologists. At a minimum, psychotherapists have Masters degrees.

A psychologist can be considered a specific type of psychotherapist who has completed a degree in psychology (typically a Ph.D. or Psy.D., but some have only a Masters in psychology.). They are qualified to provide psychotherapy and may also conduct psychological testing, research, and other specialized areas within the field of psychology. However, it’s worth noting that not all psychotherapists are psychologists, as individuals with different educational backgrounds, such as social workers or counselors, can also provide psychotherapy services.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors (M.D. or D.O.) who specialize in mental health. One of the primary distinctions between psychiatrists and other mental health professionals is that psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe medications. They have gone to medical school and have had extensive training in psychopharmacology, which is the study of how medications can be used to treat mental health conditions. Alongside prescribing medications, psychiatrists may also provide psychotherapy, although many focus primarily on medication management.

The depiction of therapy in movies and other forms of media can sometimes be sensationalized or dramatized for entertainment purposes. While some elements may resemble real therapy experiences, it’s important to remember that everyone’s therapy journey is unique, and the portrayal of therapy in movies is often fictionalized for storytelling purposes. Real therapy sessions typically involve open and honest conversations between you and your therapist, aimed at addressing your specific concerns and goals. Therapy is a collaborative process focused on your well-being and personal growth. It may involve discussing emotions, exploring patterns of thinking and behavior, and learning coping strategies. The pace and focus of therapy will depend on your individual needs and the therapeutic approach used by your therapist. It’s helpful to approach therapy with an open mind and not rely solely on movie portrayals as accurate representations of the therapy experience.

No, you do not have to be experiencing a certain level of stress to seek therapy. Therapy is not limited to individuals in crisis or extreme distress. It is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to enhance their overall well-being, personal growth, or address specific concerns or challenges in their lives. Therapy can help individuals gain self-awareness, develop coping strategies, improve relationships, manage emotions, and navigate life transitions more effectively. It is a proactive and empowering step towards self-improvement and mental health maintenance. Whether you are facing significant stressors or simply seeking support, therapy can provide a safe and non-judgmental space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It is open to individuals at all stages of life and can be beneficial for various concerns, from daily stressors to long-standing issues.


The Process

It is entirely normal to feel unsure about your goals for therapy, and it’s a common concern many individuals have when starting therapy. In fact, exploring and clarifying your goals is often a part of the therapeutic process itself. Your therapist can guide you in this exploration by asking questions, listening attentively, and providing insight. Together, you and your therapist can collaboratively identify areas of your life or aspects of your mental health that you would like to address or improve. You can also discuss any challenges or issues that are currently affecting your well-being. Sometimes, simply expressing a desire for personal growth, greater self-understanding, or improved emotional well-being can be a starting point. Remember that therapy is a dynamic process, and your goals may evolve and become clearer as you progress. The important thing is to communicate openly with your therapist, express any uncertainties or questions you may have, and trust in the therapeutic journey to help you discover and define your goals over time.

If you’re feeling nervous about therapy, there are several steps you can take to help alleviate those feelings. First, remind yourself that it’s normal to feel anxious or uncertain about starting therapy, as it involves opening up about personal thoughts and emotions. Take a few deep breaths and acknowledge that seeking therapy is a courageous step toward improving your well-being. It can also be helpful to educate yourself about the therapy process and what to expect in the first session. Consider writing down any specific concerns or questions you have and bring them up with your therapist during the initial session. Engaging in self-care activities, such as practicing mindfulness or engaging in activities that help you relax, can also be beneficial. Lastly, remember that therapists are trained professionals who are there to support and guide you in a non-judgmental way. Building a trusting relationship takes time, so be patient and allow yourself to gradually open up during the therapy process.

To make the most of your therapy sessions, we recommend taking a few simple steps to prepare beforehand. First, find a quiet and comfortable space where you can have privacy and minimize distractions during your session. Set aside dedicated time, free from other commitments, to ensure you can fully engage in the therapy process. Reflect on any significant events, thoughts, or emotions you may have experienced since your last session. Jot down any topics, questions, or concerns you would like to discuss with your therapist. This can help you stay focused and ensure that you cover the most important aspects during your session. It’s also helpful to have any relevant materials, such as a journal, notebook, or previous therapy notes, nearby for reference. Lastly, approach each session with an open mind and a willingness to engage in self-reflection and growth. Remember, therapy is a collaborative effort, and your active participation plays a crucial role in the therapeutic process.


It’s impossible! There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do therapy. Therapy is a unique and personal journey, and it is normal to have concerns or doubts about the process. It’s important to remember that therapy is a collaborative and non-judgmental space where you can explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences at your own pace. Your therapist is there to provide guidance, support, and professional expertise to help you navigate your challenges and work towards your goals. It’s natural to have ups and downs during therapy, and your therapist is equipped to help you through those moments. Trust in the therapeutic process, be open and honest with your therapist, and allow yourself the opportunity to grow and heal. Remember, therapy is about your well-being, and your therapist is there to support you every step of the way.

No worries! It is common for patients to reassess or modify their therapy goals as they progress. Your goals may evolve as you gain new insights, overcome challenges, or experience changes in your life circumstances. We believe in the importance of collaborative goal-setting, and your therapist is committed to working with you to ensure that your therapy aligns with your evolving needs and aspirations. If you feel the desire to change or adjust your therapy goals, simply communicate this to your therapist during your sessions. They will listen attentively, explore your reasons for wanting to make a change, and collaborate with you to redefine and refine your goals.

Therapy is a confidential and private process, and generally, nobody will find out that you’re going to therapy unless you choose to share that information with them. Confidentiality is a fundamental aspect of therapy, and we prioritize the protection of your personal information and privacy. As therapists, we are legally bound by professional regulations and ethics to maintain confidentiality. This means that under normal circumstances no one outside of River Oaks Psychology is given any information — even the fact that you have ever been a patient here — without your expressed written consent. Our primary goal is to provide you with a safe, trusted environment in which you feel comfortable to discuss your intimate experiences without judgment.

However, there are some legal limits to confidentiality, such as instances of potential serious danger or abuse. To fully understand the legal limits and specific situations that therapists legally must report, please visit our page on Confidentiality.

A therapy treatment plan is a collaborative roadmap that outlines the goals, strategies, and interventions tailored to your unique therapeutic needs. At River Oaks Psychology, we believe in the importance of developing a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan to guide our therapeutic work together. The treatment plan is created in collaboration with your therapist, taking into consideration your specific concerns, strengths, and desired outcomes. It serves as a framework for organizing and structuring your therapy sessions, ensuring that the therapeutic process remains focused, purposeful, and effective. The treatment plan outlines the goals you wish to achieve, the therapeutic approaches that will be used, and the estimated timeline for reaching those goals. It provides a sense of direction and clarity, allowing you to track your progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions implemented.

Your therapist will regularly review and update the treatment plan to ensure it remains relevant and responsive to your evolving needs. By establishing a therapy treatment plan, we strive to provide you with a structured and goal-oriented therapeutic experience that maximizes your growth, healing, and overall well-being.

Homework between sessions is not mandatory or required. The need for homework depends on the specific goals, treatment approach, and individualized treatment plan developed in collaboration with your therapist. While some therapeutic modalities may incorporate homework as part of the process, it is not a universal requirement. Your therapist will work closely with you to determine the most effective and tailored approach to your therapy. They will consider your preferences, needs, and progress to ensure that the therapy process is meaningful and beneficial for you. If homework assignments are deemed necessary or beneficial for your specific situation, your therapist will discuss them with you in detail, provide clear instructions, and support you throughout the process. However, if homework is not included as part of your therapy, it does not diminish the effectiveness or impact of the therapy itself. Our primary focus is to create a therapeutic environment that supports your growth, healing, and well-being, and we will work collaboratively with you to achieve those goals.

We understand that knowing if therapy is working is an important aspect of your therapeutic journey. The effectiveness of therapy can vary from person to person, and it may take time to notice significant changes. However, there are several indicators that can help you gauge the progress and effectiveness of your therapy. You may notice improvements in your overall well-being, such as a greater sense of self-awareness, increased coping skills, enhanced relationships, or a reduction in distressing symptoms. Therapy can also provide you with a safe space to explore and process difficult emotions, gain new perspectives, and develop healthier ways of thinking and behaving. Regular and open communication with your therapist is crucial in assessing the progress of therapy. They will collaborate with you to set realistic goals, monitor your progress, and adjust interventions as needed.

It’s important to remember that therapy is a gradual and ongoing process, and it is normal to have ups and downs along the way. Your therapist will work closely with you to ensure that therapy is tailored to your specific needs and that you are actively engaged in the process. Ultimately, the effectiveness of therapy is a personal experience, and we encourage you to regularly evaluate your own growth, satisfaction, and progress in therapy to determine its impact on your overall well-being.

Of course! We highly encourage you to ask questions and provide feedback during your therapy sessions. Your active participation is vital in creating a collaborative and effective therapeutic relationship. We value open communication and believe that your questions, concerns, and feedback are essential for tailoring the therapy to your specific needs and goals. You are the expert on your own experiences, and your input helps guide the therapeutic process. Your therapist will create a safe and non-judgmental space where you can freely express yourself and explore any uncertainties or curiosities you may have. They will actively listen, validate your experiences, and provide thoughtful responses to your questions. By engaging in dialogue and sharing your thoughts, you can enhance the therapeutic experience and maximize the benefits of therapy.


There will likely come a time when you feel ready to end or pause therapy. We respect your autonomy and believe in your right to make decisions about your mental health care. If you wish to stop therapy, we encourage you to discuss your thoughts and feelings openly with your therapist. They are here to support you throughout your therapeutic process, including if you decide to discontinue therapy. Your therapist will work with you to explore your reasons for wanting to stop and address any concerns or unresolved issues. They can provide closure and help you navigate the transition, ensuring that you feel supported and empowered in your decision. It is important to remember that therapy is a collaborative process, and your therapist is committed to your well-being. They will respect your choice while also providing any necessary recommendations or resources to assist you in maintaining your mental health.

Deciding whether to talk about therapy with friends or family is a personal choice that depends on various factors, including your comfort level and the dynamics of your relationships. Some individuals find it helpful and supportive to discuss their therapy experiences with trusted friends or family members. Sharing this information can provide a sense of validation, understanding, and emotional support. It may also help educate others about the importance of mental health and reduce any stigma associated with therapy. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone may have a positive or supportive reaction, as attitudes towards therapy can vary. If you do choose to discuss therapy, consider sharing with individuals you trust and feel comfortable with, while being mindful of your own boundaries and what you’re comfortable sharing. Ultimately, the decision to talk about therapy with friends or family is a personal one and should be based on your own judgment and comfort level.

At River Oaks Psychology, we believe in a collaborative approach to your mental health care. While it is not mandatory to inform your doctor that you are going to therapy, it can be beneficial to share this information with them. Your doctor plays a vital role in your overall health, and having a complete understanding of your healthcare journey allows them to provide comprehensive and coordinated care. By informing your doctor about your therapy, they can have a clearer picture of your mental health status, which can inform their medical decision-making process. Additionally, certain medical conditions or medications may have an impact on your mental well-being, and your doctor may offer valuable insights or recommendations that can complement your therapy. However, the decision to disclose your therapy journey to your doctor is ultimately up to you, and we respect your privacy and confidentiality. Your therapist will collaborate with you to ensure that your therapy remains a safe and confidential space where you can openly discuss your concerns without fear of judgment or disclosure to others.

The Therapeutic Relationship

The therapeutic relationship is one of intimacy and strength. Without a good therapeutic relationship, there can be no productive therapy. How a patient and therapist engage is the most important factor when considering the success of therapy. The relationship and “fit” between you and your therapist are essential to establishing a safe environment where you can intimately share your internal experiences within the therapeutic space. It is the relationship that provides space for reflection and healing without fear of any judgment.

For some people, this may be one of the first times they have formed an intimate connection with another person where their feelings, thoughts, or ideas have been authentically heard, understood, and valued, and where they have not had to censor themselves in any way. Our therapists at River Oaks Psychology recognize the vulnerability and bravery of our patients when engaging in this process. We understand that beginning therapy can be overwhelming. This is why we work so hard to make every patient feel like they belong here.

We strive to ensure a personalized and suitable match between patients and therapists. When you reach out to us, we will gather information about your specific needs, concerns, and preferences. This initial conversation allows us to understand your unique circumstances and the goals you hope to achieve through therapy. Based on this information, we will carefully consider our team of qualified therapists and their areas of expertise, therapeutic approaches, and personalities. We take into account factors such as your comfort level, cultural background, and therapeutic style preferences. Our goal is to find a therapist who aligns well with your individual needs, creating a strong therapeutic alliance from the start. We believe that a positive and trusting relationship between you and your therapist is crucial for successful therapy outcomes.

We carefully select therapists who meet the highest professional standards and possess the necessary qualifications and expertise. Our therapists are licensed professionals who have completed extensive education and training in their respective fields. They hold advanced degrees in psychology, counseling, social work, or a related discipline and have undergone rigorous clinical training and supervised experience. Additionally, our therapists adhere to professional ethical guidelines and participate in ongoing professional development to stay up-to-date with the latest research and therapeutic approaches.

We encourage you to ask your therapist questions about their qualifications. Our therapists understand the significance of building trust and ensuring that you feel comfortable with their qualifications. Feel free to ask your therapist about their therapeutic approach, theoretical orientation, and how they stay current with advancements in the field. Your therapist is dedicated to your well-being and will take the time to address any concerns or questions you may have regarding their qualifications or therapeutic practice.

YES. Your happiness and growth are our top priority. Sometimes you just don’t click with a person. Maybe you feel like you’re not making progress. You might feel like you need a fresh perspective. Sometimes we just need to change things up. Therapy can only be productive and successful if you are able to connect deeply and form a strong alliance with your therapist.

If you decide at any point – for any reason – that you would prefer a different therapist, please let us know. You will not hurt your therapist’s feelings. We want you to speak up (asserting your feelings is a part of healthy communication!). You always have the right to request transferring to a different therapist at River Oaks Psychology and your therapist will help you with the process so that a smooth transition occurs.

If, by chance, we see our patients in the community outside of sessions, we will not initiate greetings or conversations. We will only engage with you IF YOU INITIATE CONTACT. This is because your right to privacy and confidentiality is of the utmost importance, and we will not jeopardize your rights. For example, you may be with family or friends in the community, and it would not be appropriate for us to approach you and jeopardize your privacy by publicly displaying an association between you and therapy services.

Therapists establish boundaries with their patients for several important reasons. Boundaries are an essential aspect of maintaining a safe, ethical, and professional therapeutic relationship. They create a clear framework for the therapeutic process, ensuring that both the therapist and patient understand their roles and responsibilities. Boundaries help establish a professional distance that allows therapists to remain objective and provide unbiased support and guidance. They also help maintain the focus on the patient’s needs and ensure that therapy remains centered on their well-being. Boundaries also serve to protect the therapist’s own well-being and prevent any potential conflicts of interest. By maintaining appropriate boundaries, therapists can create a therapeutic space that is free from dual relationships or personal biases, fostering trust, respect, and a healthy therapeutic alliance. These boundaries promote the safety and integrity of the therapeutic process and support the client’s overall growth and healing.

Without boundaries, feelings become muddled and you might feel like you are becoming friends or more-than-friends with your therapist. This is extremely common but critical to address. Under no circumstances are dual relationships permitted. Dual relationships are unethical and harmful to both the patient and therapist.

If you begin to feel like your relationship with your therapist is no longer professional (if you begin to desire having your therapist in your life as more than a professional therapist), please let us know about these feelings. Your therapist can help you work to resolve this conflict or support you through a smooth transfer to another therapist at River Oaks Psychology so that your treatment process can remain professional and most effective for you.

When a patient maintains boundaries, this means they remember the therapist is a professional (not a friend, parent, neighbor, etc.). They do not ask for inappropriate things from the therapist (asking to come to special life events, asking for special treatment, etc.). They do not take advantage of the therapist’s time, abilities, or services, and they do not make unreasonable demands of the therapist. Maintaining these boundaries allows the patient to achieve the most effective therapy outcomes without disruptions due to boundary violations.

You are allowed to disagree! We understand that therapy is a collaborative process, and it is normal to have differing opinions or perspectives from your therapist. Open and honest communication is encouraged, and we value your input as an active participant in your therapeutic journey. If you find yourself disagreeing with your therapist, it is important to express your concerns or viewpoints openly during your sessions. This provides an opportunity for exploration, clarification, and mutual understanding. Your therapist is trained to handle disagreements and can work with you to address any conflicts or misunderstandings that may arise. They are dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment where your concerns can be heard and discussed in a respectful manner. Remember that therapy is a partnership, and your therapist is there to support your growth and well-being. Together, you can navigate through any disagreements and work towards finding common ground or alternative perspectives that align with your therapeutic goals.

No, it is not appropriate for any therapist to pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to do. Your therapist’s role is to support and guide you on your therapeutic journey. They are committed to respecting your autonomy and personal boundaries throughout the process. It is essential to establish a collaborative therapeutic relationship built on trust, transparency, and mutual respect. Your therapist will work with you to identify and explore goals that are meaningful and relevant to you. They will offer strategies, techniques, or suggestions that align with your therapeutic needs, but ultimately, the decisions and choices regarding your therapy are yours to make. Your therapist will not force or coerce you into doing anything that you are not comfortable with. They will respect your values, preferences, and limits, while encouraging you to challenge yourself within your own comfort zone. Open communication with your therapist is crucial, and if at any point you feel uncomfortable or have concerns about the therapy process, it is important to discuss them openly. Your therapist is there to support and empower you on your therapeutic journey, always ensuring that you are an active participant in the decisions made regarding your treatment.

No, because at River Oaks Psychology, we prioritize your individuality and understand that each person’s journey is unique. Your therapist will not compare you to other patients. Therapy is a deeply personal and confidential process, and your therapist is committed to creating a safe and non-judgmental space where you can freely explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. They will listen to you with empathy, understanding, and without any preconceived notions. Your therapist’s focus is solely on understanding your specific concerns, goals, and needs, and tailoring the therapy to support your growth and well-being. Rest assured that your therapist respects your privacy and will approach your therapy with utmost respect for your individuality.

We can’t wait to meet you!  Let us know how we can help.