Frequently Asked Questions: About Our Practice
(Double-click on questions for answers)
No. We offer traditional and current evidence-based methods of counseling and psychotherapy.We are an alternative choice to impersonal clinics, managed care groups, and other settings. We work with people who may have chosen alternative lifestyles. We offer alternative choices until we find the best solution for each individual. We are not "alternative healers".Our treatment is individualized and is designed to relieve symptoms, resolve conflicts and improve quality of life.
Some people can get what they need and want to do in 6-12 sessions or less. Most patients in this category are referred for a specific problem or to get back on track after a small setback. Work with past history, the unconscious, or problems related to personality traits, while often necessary, falls largely outside the scope of counseling or short-term psychotherapy. Typically, a long standing problem takes longer, although in some cases can still be settled in under 20 sessions. More frequently, however, we see people for long-term psychotherapy which can take many months or even years.
We recommend a consult for medication when the symptoms that need addressing are either too severe or too uncomfortable for us to work through in counseling or psychotherapy alone. Sometimes the most effective treatment is some combination of medication and therapy together. This is reviewed and discussed on an individual basis, if necessary. We do not believe that medication is the answer to all that ails us.
Medication alone can often make a difference in the way you feel, but once you stop taking the medication the original symptoms may return. In addition, once symptoms such as those of anxiety or depression, for example, have been alleviated people often improve with future therapy to the point that they can function even more effectively in all areas of their lives. In addition, this gives them the time to make changes that may prevent further anxiety or depression. While we are all trained and knowledgeable in the more current, evidence based theories and techniques and use these to supplement our deeper long term work, many people who come to see us choose to spend more time to resolve other issues once they are satisfied in their short term treatment. Some of our patients are dealing with the effects of childhood trauma or chronic depression and need deeper work in order to lead a full life. Still others, typically highly educated and relatively privileged, are investing in personal growth and wisdom for the sake of a richer and more fulfilling life, to improve the emotional and physical well-being, and to enable them to cope with a very challenging leadership role. New health care trends in managed care have made this very difficult for the average individual. At Alternative Choices, we attempt to work with everyone within their means to provide longer term treatment by utilizing a sliding pay scale which often enables us to be more inclusive.
New referrals are most often sent to us by friends, family members, social workers, schools, primary care physicians, internists and other medical specialists. Some of our youngest patients and their families are referred through early diagnosis and intervention programs at their places of worship, pre-schools, or hospitals such as Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), DuPont, Jefferson, etc.
Please e-mail us with any other questions you may have. We will answer you personally, and perhaps add your question to this site.