Vena Blanchard, DHS
(1) 310.836.1662
(1) 760.415.4220

office in Los Angeles 

Email: Vena Blanchard

How can therapy help me?
A skilled counselor can provide emotional support, new perspectives, and encouragement during difficult times. The process of therapy helps you develop problem-solving skills, coping strategies, and provides an emotional foundation for addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues, sexual difficulties, existential crises, and creative blocks. Many people find therapy is a powerful asset during times of personal and family stress, when embarking on the exciting process of personal growth and relationship enhancement, and for gaining mastery over the everyday hassles of life. From the right therapist you receive fresh perspectives and guidance toward solutions that work best for you. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and whether you put into practice what you learn through therapy.

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to longstanding emotional issues or behavioral concerns 
  • Learning new ways to reduce and/or cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new healthy habits
  • Exploring new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
  • Coming to acceptance and achieving integration.

Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it now. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have different motivations for entering psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help during difficult times. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective and satisfied in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives. 

What is the client’s experience of therapy?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to talk about the current events in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and to report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. These conversations will lead to deeper understanding and changes in your feelings. Depending on your specific goals and needs, therapy may be short-term (to help you achieve a very specific goal) or longer-term (to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.) Either way, it is best to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives; are open to new perspectives and are ready to assume responsibility for their lives.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, the counseling process addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that inhibit our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrated approach to wellness -- which generally includes consultation between your physician(s) and your therapist, and sometimes includes both mediation and counseling. Our approach prioritizes the healthiest individualized treatment course possible. 

Will insurance pay for therapy with you?
I am not on any insurance provider lists, and your insurance is unlikely to cover any portion of your therapy with me.  To determine whether this will make much of a difference in the actual cost of therapy for you, you will want to get answers for the following questions:

  • Does my plan cover counseling for my particular problem? (For instance, will insurance cover sex therapy?)
  • How much will insurance cover or reimburse me for any therapy session?
  • How many sessions per year will my health insurance cover?
  • How much is my deductible and have I met it yet?
  • Is there a therapist on the "provider list" with the right expertise for my concerns. 

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (you’re your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
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 threatened to harm another person.

Have more questions?
Please contact me directly for further information.