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Jeri Bell, LMFT,License, MFC37429
Common Questions
How can therapy help me?
Talking things over with a confidential, trusted therapist can provide support and enhance problem-solving skills by building coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Talking with a therapist often provides a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.

I strongly believe that humans are designed to be self-healing.  Just as our physical body sends pain signals to alert us, our psychological system sends signals.  When we or others notice that we seem too tired, too angry, too sad, it is often our psychological system sending an alarm that we need to step up our self care.  Along with my belief that we are designed to be self-healing, I also believe that we are designed to be in relationship with others.  It is in a relationship that we are able to bring forth our self-healing properties.  We need to be heard and emotionally "felt".  That happens when we share with a trusted other. 

 Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?

People generally come to therapy because they have a deep feeling that they are not utilizing their potential, or having the satisfaction they want.  If you are uneasy in the progress in your life, therapy could most likely help you find your direction.  I advise people to "shop" around for a therapist that they feel "hears" or "gets" them.  The relationship between the therapist and the client is the most important factor pointing toward a successful outcome.
What is therapy like?
We will discuss your concerns. Together, we will explore your options, looking at what your strengths are and how you can access and use those strengths to move forward.  A positive outcome is directly linked to your participation in exploring options and making changes where indicated.  It is usually recommended that we meet weekly. 
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?  
Sometimes medication is indicated and very helpful.  If I feel you might benefit from medication in addition to therapy, I will recommend that you be evaluated by a psychiatrist to determine whether medication may be appropriate. Medication alone is seldom enough, however, combined with talk therapy, it can be very helpful.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
Being new to the San Diego area, I am in the process of applying to various insurance panels.  Most will accept a SuperBill from me as an Out-Of-Network-Provider. To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them:
  • 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? 
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Absolutely!  If you need me to discuss your therapy or your child's therapy, I will first have you sign a Consent to Release Confidential Information.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.