- What is Therapy?
The dictionary defines Therapy as: “Treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder or disease.” Psychotherapy is defined as the treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems, with the goal being relief of symptoms, changes in behavior leading to improved social and vocational functioning, and personality growth. I specialize in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).
- I’ve handled problems in my past without therapy; why do I need it now?
Life is full of situations both positive and negative. Most of us can resolve these situations as a matter of course, but sometimes we are faced with a problem that overwhelms our normal abilities to cope. At times like these, we may require assistance in order to comprehend, understand and resolve the situation. We all have “blind spots” which are often more easily seen by a neutral third party. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
- I’m not “nuts”, why do I need therapy?
There are many people who use this misconception as a way to avoid therapy. Rather than being “nuts” or “crazy”, people who recognize that they need help and seek it from a therapist, are usually better attuned to themselves and the world in which they live than those who use the “crazy” excuse as a reason to remain in distress and avoid getting help. In addition, may people see going to therapy as a weakness when in fact it is actually a sign of personal strength.
- Will Therapy help me? Will I get better?
Therapy is a process that helps people to “work through” emotional and/or psychological issues of daily living through close collaboration with a trained and licensed professional. Many people find therapy to be of tremendous help for managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Psychologists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image and creative blocks.
Getting better will depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. The Psychologist can guide, point and lead, but you have to be willing to do the work both during and outside of your weekly sessions. If you put the work in, your goal of feeling better will be achieved.
- I’ve never been in Therapy. Is it like what I see on TV?
Somewhat similar but without the film crew! The one myth that TV shows perpetuate is that problems can be resolved within the hour. In reality, the process usually takes longer than just a few sessions.
- What can I expect from therapy?
Every therapy session is tailored to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions you and the psychologist will discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life. At times you will be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to think about 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.
- If I suffer from a biologically based disorder such as ADHD, can therapy help me?
Yes, therapy can be very helpful in learning how to cope, and function more effectively while living with a biologically based mental health problem. Medications can also help, but therapy fills in where medication leaves off. Therapy can help you develop ways of coping with your biologically based disorder, and adopting new behavioral strategies to improve attention, concentration, and performance at work and at school. It can also guide you toward new ways of feeling, and help improve relationships.
- Can you explain the difference between Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Psychologist and psychiatrists can each perform therapy, testing, evaluations and other clinical services. The typical distinction is that a psychologist engages in psychotherapy through “talk” therapy while a psychiatrist engages in psychotherapy through medication. Sometimes both “talk” therapy and medication are required to benefit the client. In such cases, Dr. Strickland can work with a client’s existing psychiatrist or can refer the client to a psychiatrist from his referral list.
- Can I just take medication in place of therapy?
It is a well established fact that mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom as medication does, therapy addresses the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that may be impeding your progress.
Medication is, however, often very effective in conjunction with therapy and sometimes it is necessary for the severe symptoms of some conditions. Working with your medical doctor or a psychiatrist we can determine what is best for your particular situation. You will have a better outcome and have a greater sense of well-being using an integrated approach to wellness.
- If I need medication, will you consult with my family doctor and/or psychiatrist?
Yes! I would be happy to establish a professional relationship with your doctors to coordinate your care for the best possible outcome. In accordance with HIPPA regulations, your doctors and I will obtain signed letters of release of information.
If you do not currently have a psychiatrist, I will be happy to refer you to one for a medication evaluation.
- Of the many psychologists in the area, why would I choose to see you?
There are many psychologists in this area, each with their own competencies. Finding the one for you is a matter of personal choice. I practice Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). REBT is considered an Evidenced Based Treatment (EBT) whose effectiveness has been validated through research and has been shown to bring about lasting change. I have more confidence that a positive change will come about using evidence based treatments because I have the research to back it up.
I also teach my clients what I have learned so that they can get the maximum benefit for the rest of their lives, not just for the time that they are in therapy with me. When therapy is complete, they take with them their education and can use it wherever they go. I teach them to not only be less distressed, but more resistant to becoming distressed.
- Do you work with children and adolescents?
Yes, I treat children and adolescents. I treat all ages; children, adolescents, adults, and couples!
- What Are Your Office Hours?
Presently, my office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays with varying hours between 9:00 a.m. and 8:15 p.m. Earlier and later, weekend and emergency appointments are available on an as needed basis. I make every attempt to accommodate a client’s scheduling needs.
- How long will it take to get an appointment with you?
I always accept new clients! It may be possible to get a same day appointment and if necessary I will often extend hours on the spot to accommodate my clients. If we can’t get together on the same day, I can usually get you in within the week.
- What if I am in crises and I need help in off hours?
I will provide you with all of my contact information including my cell phone number and my email address. Your crises is my crises and I will do my best to be available to help you whenever you need it.
- What do you charge for your sessions?
For specifics on my fee schedule, please feel free to call my office at (631) 486-5140.
- What insurance plans do you accept?
Presently, I am an in-network provider for Empire BC/BS and Aetna. I am an out-of-network provider for Empire NYSHIP (which is different than Empire BC/BS). If your carrier is not one of those listed above, Dr. Strickland can try to become an out-of-network provider for your insurance company for the short term. Dr. Strickland is in the process of becoming an in-network provider with other insurance companies.
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier and ask:
- 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?
- What would my first session be like?
During the first session you and I will discuss your reasons for seeking treatment. I will ask you for relevant background information having to do with your issues. As the session progresses, we will establish a rapport and sense of trust . We will also begin to develop a plan to address your issues. I will make suggestions and assign homework during that very first session that will help you to start feeling better right away.
- Will I really start to feel better right away?
After the first session many clients leave with a sense of hope and a measure of control over their difficulties which does make them feel better. Subsequent sessions build on this and clients begin to use the tools they have been given in therapy to help themselves wherever they are. Dr. Strickland helps you help yourself.
- How will I know that the therapy is working?
Changes in how you think, feel, and behave are generally self evident. In many instances, others in your life such as your friends, family, spouses, and co-workers will often notice changes before you do.
- How much therapy will I need?
This varies considerably depending on what problems you present with and/or would like to work on, your goals, and your personal commitment to improving.
- Will my therapy sessions be totally confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychologist. Information cannot be disclosed without prior written permission from you. A very limited amount of information is provided to your insurance company such as your diagnosis and dates of treatment as these are required for reimbursement.
However, you should be aware that there are some exceptions to this rule. They include:
- Child, dependent adult or elder abuse and/or neglect. If suspected, depending upon the jurisdiction a psychologist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to a specific, identifiable person or group, depending upon the jurisdiction the psychologist is required by law to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, the psychologist 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.
- Under certain circumstances, a psychologist may be ordered by a court of law to release information. However, motions such as this can possibly be quashed.
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