Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve never talked to anyone. I usually just try to handle things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all, and quite the opposite. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason aren't working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing your business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

What if we are not a fit?

Counseling works best when there is a connection between you and me. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it does not. I connect with most people, but if you feel that someone can better help you after we meet, there will be no hard feelings. I want you to get the help you need.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

One thing I discuss with clients is that medication is like the bandage used to stem the flow of the emotional wound. However, it's important to address what caused that wound in the first place. If that doesn't happen, the emotional wound may not heal properly, or at all. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the wound or issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals. Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy. If this is the case, I will refer you back to your primary care physician for a medication consultation.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.

Why don’t you take insurance?

This is a valid question. I used to wonder the same thing when I would go to some health care professionals. I would think, “Why in the world would you not take insurance?” Each clinician is different, but here are my reasons:

  • You should have privacy over your client records and treatment plans. Many times counselors spend hours on the phone with insurance companies, taking away time and energy that should be devoted to helping you.

  • Insurance companies require diagnosis codes in order for your counseling to be covered. I do not believe giving a diagnosis code to every client is in their best interest.

  • Insurance companies dictate how many sessions they will pay to treat your diagnosis. Many times only a handful of sessions are covered.

  • With private pay, you have more control over receiving the best care possible.

Tiffany Thomas-Torres, MA, LMFT

Detective For The Mind

PO Box 32, Apple Valley, CA. 92307