Q & A with Daisy
Q: Daisy, what led you to choosing this as a profession?
A: “What’s really strange is that I’ve wanted to be a counselor since I was 14. That was when family issues for me really started to heat up – and the only person that I was able to talk to was, my school counselor. This was back when school counselors were less busy and able to really help. I was so thankful because that was the only person that I trusted and really helped me through that time. So, because of that experience I wanted to be able to make an impact on someone else’s life like she did mine.
As I got older and started to reflect more on my life, I determined that all the pain that I had gone through in my life would only be worth it if I could help others. From a very early age I experienced the loss of both of my parents and was being raised in a home that battled addiction. From these experiences I greatly understand the challenges that an individual in that situation has to grow through.”
Q: In your experience as a therapist – what are the biggest barriers for a client just getting started?
A: “I think that as much as we are trying to fight the stigma of mental illness, there are still a lot of ‘first timers’ that come in and feel very hesitant to being open. Whether that is from society, or even a family culture that could be sending a message of ‘not airing dirty laundry’ the hesitancy can become the first big barrier that a client may need to overcome.”
Q: Have you experienced therapy yourself? What was it like for you?
A: “Yes, I’ve absolutely gone through my own therapy, and do still attend therapy ongoing. I think that it is very important to get the help I need of stress in my life because it really benefits my work with my clients. I do recognize that it can be hard to find a ‘good therapist’. Mainly because you need to find someone that is a good fit for you and your life.
I have even seen clients that have had some fairly traumatic experiences with therapists that weren’t a good fit. I think even as a therapist myself, I recognize the need to ‘shop around’ for the best fit. Fit being personality, the mode in which they do their work, along with the type of modality that they are using. All of these variables are important in choosing someone to do therapy with. Sometimes it is hard and the search itself becomes its own barrier to getting help.”
Q: What would a client experience coming to your office for the first time?
A: Generally, the first session would involve an intake, which is a “get to know you” on both sides. I would get to know the client and their current struggles, and they would get to ask me any questions they had about my work in order to determine if we are going to be a good fit.
The second session would include talking about goals of treatment, what the client wants to see change, and then also maybe clarifying what is within their control. It is hard to completely pinpoint the flow of the second session because everyone comes in for something a little different and therapy with me is really tailored to the needs of the individual.
Q: I’ve noticed that insurance doesn’t always want to pay for therapy, what is your take on using insurance to cover your treatment?
A: I think once you use insurance to cover treatment a lot of your privacy is forfeited. In order for insurance to approve it you have to have a mental diagnosis. Also, at any time insurance can request copies of your case notes, and treatment plans. These diagnoses, and documents can be seen by a number of people, and then you also run the risk of it affecting your ability to get life insurance later on down the road. There are a number of therapists that don’t love to diagnose people because of the box that can place a client and their treatment in. So private pay therapy provides you more freedom of treatment because you don’t have to be tied to a diagnosis, and your confidentiality is completely intact. There are a number of ways to find therapy that is affordable through private pay if income is a factor.