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Jeffrey Hughes, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist

340 Broadway - STE 2
Providence, RI 02909
P: 401.243.7210
F: 401.489.7862

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Questions and Answers

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy (or "therapy")  can take many forms in terms of frequency and approach. In general, it is a once-a-week, 45-minute meeting during which issues affecting your life are discussed and explored. Much of what is therapeutic takes place on a deeper emotional level. If it were simply a cognitive exercise, we would be able to think our way out of our problems.


When should a person seek help?

When someone is not satisfied with their life they may want to consider consulting a psychologist. Anxiety, depression, loneliness, frustration or fear that interferes with the quality of one's life, are all good reasons to consider therapy. As well, undue conflict in relationships often point toward issues that may be worth addressing in therapy.


Why psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy can be very helpful in facilitating a variety of personal changes that will contribute to a more satisfying life. This typically means understanding and changing behavior that doesn't seem to be working for you - improving your relationships, conquering fears/anxiety and reducing depression. It can also mean developing the positive aspects of life that are so valuable - love, creativity, joy, playfulness, intimacy, sensuality and compassion.


Do my problems require professional help?

Unfortunately, many people have associated the use of therapy with some form of 'mental illness' or for those that have 'serious problems'.  As a result, many individuals don't explore the possibility of therapy, believing their problems aren't serious enough to warrant professional help. The opposite is often true - those with less severe issues often benefit the most from therapy due to their ability to make more rapid changes.


How long does therapy take?

Length of treatment can vary from a few sessions to much longer depending on the individual and the issues being addressed. It can often be estimated and discussed by the end of the first session.


What are the differences between a psychologist, psychiatrist, and a psychotherapist?

A psychologist has a doctoral degree in psychology and typically specializes in therapy.  A psychiatrist has a medical degree and works primarily with medication. The term psychotherapist is a general one and is often used by social workers and other non-doctoral therapists.


What can I expect in the first session?

The first session lasts about one hour. We will discuss the issues that seem to be bothering you and determine if therapy can be helpful. If so, we will discuss a preliminary treatment plan, scheduling, and cost.


What can I expect to achieve from therapy?

In addition to reducing or eliminating the "symptoms" that brought you to therapy, most people report a variety of changes that lead to a much more satisfying life - greater understanding of self and others; improved relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners; and many other positive shifts