Common Questions

cartoon[1]What is Dr. Christian’s treatment philosophy or orientation?  I primarily use  Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) combined with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). CBT and ACT have a considerable amount of research supporting their use with a variety of clinical problems. Sometimes I incorporate methods from other treatment approaches including Gestalt, Rogerian, Family Systems, and traditional Behavior Therapy. Having been a professor of psychology in a therapist training program has allowed me to develop a wide range of skills and methods.

How does therapy begin?  Prior to our first session, complete the initial assessment questionnaire. Bring this with you to our first session. In our first session we will review your questionnaire and I will ask you what you hope to get out of therapy. We will evaluate your needs and set treatment goals. I will offer you options to reach your treatment goals. Following sessions will develop skills and insights that support treatment goals. This may include in-session practice as well as homework assignments. Our work will be flexibly adapted to your needs.

How long does therapy last? It depends. Research shows that for a problem like moderate depression, 6-10 sessions are usually required to see reasonable improvement. The number of sessions varies depending on how chronic or severe the condition is and how much you are willing to work on it between sessions.  Therapy usually tapers from weekly sessions, to less frequently as you master skills. You can decide when to stop. Most clients stop treatment when they have reached most or all of their treatment goals.

Should I consider using medication?  I can help you assess whether you could benefit from medication. As a psychologist, I specialize in therapy. If you need medication, I can refer you to a psychiatrist, a physician who specializes in medications for mental health.  One way to remember the difference: “Psychologists teach skills, psychiatrists provide pills” (though there are exceptions to this rule).

What is your confidentiality policy?  The confidentiality of psychological services is protected by law. For example, if a client admits to a therapist that he robbed the local bank, killed his boss and sells drugs, this information is all protected by law. Exceptions to confidentiality include reports of abuse or neglect of children or the elderly and statements of intent to harm self or others. If you have any question about what kinds of information are confidential, simply ask me: “if someone told you…., would it be kept confidential?”.

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