Allison Lerman, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist

180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 302  Chicago, IL  60601         (312) 806-0606         drallisonlerman@chicagopsychotherapist.com

Frequently Asked Questions About Psychotherapy...

How do I choose a therapist?

  • The best way to choose a therapist is to "shop" around.  I suggest that patients meet with potential therapists a few times to gauge their comfort level and rapport with that person and make their decision to stay with one therapist based on their own assessment of those initial sessions.


How long does each psychotherapy session last?

  • Each session is 45 minutes.


What happens in a psychotherapy session? 

  • In the first few sessions I will spend time asking you a number of questions about your background and the issues that prompted you to seek therapy.   As sessions progress, you will be asked to talk about whatever seems most salient to you in the moment.   Together we will try to gain an increased understanding of your thoughts, behaviors and patterns that are contributing to your current difficulties.


How often should I come to therapy?

  • Most patients attend therapy at least once per week.   Depending on your current circumstances and needs, I will provide a recommendation as to whether treatment of greater frequency seems appropriate.  We can then decide together what works best for you.

 

How long will I be in therapy?  

  • The duration of treatment varies from patient to patient based on each patient's goals and the nature of their presenting problem. 


Are you going to prescribe medication for me?

  • As a psychologist, I am not a medical doctor, and thus, I cannot prescribe medication.   However, we can explore whether you might benefit from an evaluation for medication, and I can provide you with a referral to a psychiatrist for that purpose.   Should you begin medication, your treatment will be a collaborative effort between me, as your therapist, and the psychiatrist who is responsible for prescribing your medication.


Is what we talk about private?

  • Your confidentiality is of the utmost importance to me.   Thus, everything you tell me will be held in the strictest confidence unless you give me specific permission to speak with someone about you, such as collaborating with a psychiatrist (if medication is deemed helpful). 
  • If you are under 18 years of age you are considered a "minor," and thus, are the legal responsibility of your parents.   I believe that, in order for you to feel safe and trust in our relationship, it is important that I honor your confidentiality by not telling your parents (or others) the specifics of what we discuss in our sessions.    However, when your parents seek therapy for you I will initially talk to them to obtain background information.  I will also occasionally consult with your parents and/or your teachers to find out how you are doing when you are not in my office.  
  • If I were to learn that you were at risk of harming yourself or somebody else, these would be reasons for me to break confidentiality in order to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of others.   Similarly, if you were to inform me of child or elder abuse, I am required by law to report this to the proper authorities.
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