Two big questions I get asked frequently: "So, what happens in therapy?" and "Why am I only in session for 45-50 minutes?"
What happens in therapy? MAGIC. Kidding, it's not, really. Therapy is a lot of work, both in session and when you're at home. It can be emotional, exhausting, uncomfortable, fulfilling, rewarding, enlightening, and AWESOME.
"Why is my session only 45-50 minutes? I paid for an hour." Depending on your therapist, the issue of the day, scheduling, you might go the full hour, though that is not the norm. BUT, depending on your insurance, they may only reimburse for 45 minutes, or they may reimburse for 53+ minutes.
So, what exactly are you paying for? TIME. The therapist is spending time WITH you, undistracted by the rest of the world while you're present. What about that other 10-15 minutes, though?
Well, documentation is a large portion of that 10-15 minutes. While the records are mostly for the therapist to reference, it is also a kind of "proof" to the insurance company that we aren't just sitting staring at each other discussing the weather. Keeping good records is an ethical obligation to you, the client, also.
Here are some other things your therapist may be doing for you outside of the "Therapy Hour":
-Taking your phone call.
-Responding to your email.
-Making schedule changes.
-Conferencing with your doctor, school counselor, teacher, etc (with a signed release, of course.)
-Consult with colleagues, while maintaining your confidentiality.
-Attend workshops/seminars to stay current on continuing education.
-Read books about an issue you might be working through.
-Talking to your insurance company about eligibility and benefits.
-Thinking about your last session together and formulating a plan for the next session.
So, therapy is not just you sitting on the couch. Therapy is a process, and there is a lot that goes on when you're not even in the building.
Until next time,