a community encouraging healing through acceptance and change

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is the relationship between a client and therapist that aids clients in problems of living. It usually includes increasing a sense of well being and reducing a discomforting experience. Psychotherapists employ a wide range of techniques based on their training, which may include dialogue, behavioral interventions, or experiential techniques such as art, journaling, role play, or movement that aid in growth and healing. Psychotherapy may be provided in an individual, couple, family, or group setting.


 

What is the difference between a social worker, a professional counselor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist and a nurse practitioner?

Social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists are all fully trained mental health professionals, licensed by the state, and experienced in a range of mental health treatment modalities. Clinical social workers, professional counselors, and psychologists have all received graduate degrees in the mental health field. Psychologists are now required to have a PhD but some who practice may have a master’s level degree.  In addition they have several years of supervised experience in a mental health setting after completion of their graduate program. In addition, a psychologist may also be trained in psychological testing and evaluations. A psychiatrist is a physician with an M.D. degree with post-doctoral training and specialization in mental health. Psychiatrists may prescribe medication. Nurse practitioners are nurses with additional graduate clinical training in their particular field of specialty. They also prescribe medication. Often mental health nurse practitioners also provide therapy services.


 

What if I need medication in addition to therapy?

If you and your therapist are considering the possibility of medication as an aid to your healing, you may make an appointment for an evaluation with one of our certified nurse practitioners (CNPs) who are specially trained in medication management.


 

How do I make an appointment with a therapist or nurse practitioner?

Simply call the Healing Connections main number, (952) 892-7690. We are located in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, in the south metro area. Our staff will take your basic information and a brief description of your concern and will get in touch with our panel of providers to see who may be available. You will be contacted again, usually the same day, by a clinician who will be able to see you.


 

How quickly can I be seen?

Depending on the limitations of your schedule and the schedules of our providers, you can usually be seen within 2-3 days. If there are scheduling constraints (time of day, days of the week, etc.) the wait time may be longer.


 

Does Healing Connections take my insurance?

The therapists at Healing Connections Therapy Center are on a variety of health insurance panels. Call or email to find out if your insurance carrier covers our services. We are providers for most of the major insurance companies in Minnesota including but not limited to Medica, United Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Aware, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Select, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Partners, Behavioral Health Plan, Preferred One, Cigna. We are also Medicaid, MCHA, and Minnesota Care Providers. You may also want to call your mental health network number, which is usually on the back of the insurance card.


 

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment that was developed in the early 1990s by Marsha LInehan. It is a psychosocial treatment that was originally developed for individuals who have Borderline Personality Disorder, although it is used for many other mental health disorders at present. Its focus is to decrease the distress caused by an individuals difficulty in regulating his or her emotions, thoughts, behaviors, relationships, or sense of self. DBT is a method combining individual therapy and skills teaching and reinforcement and skills coaching by therapists outside of therapy sessions that will help in this task.


 

What is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy?

For years in the Western culture, the body has been left out of the talking cure for individuals seeking therapy. Psychotherapists and psychiatrists have been trained to listen to the language and emotion of the client. In addition, they monitor physical symptoms, using medications when warranted. Sensorimotor psychotherapy is an approach that builds on traditional psychotherapeutic understanding but includes the body as central, helping clients to deepen their understanding of how their body either aids or hinders them in growth and healing. Specifically, this method teaches clients to become attuned to inner body sensations, postures, and generally how the body holds information. It is an approach that teaches mindful awareness of the process of the body as it protects, heals, grows and resources itself. It can also support the collaborative team of therapist and client in exploring more effective ways of managing anxiety responses. In this method the body is used as an entry point for healing, so it is most helpful with clients who either are comfortable with the body or are willing to gently explore this as an option for health and healing.


 

What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)?

EMDR is a powerful new method of psychotherapy founded in l988. When a trauma occurs, it seems to get locked in the nervous system, with the original image, sounds, smells, thoughts and feelings. These images, sounds, smells, thoughts and feelings can be triggered unexpectedly by our environment, even years after the original trauma, and the individual will re-experience the trauma, almost as if it were happening again in the present. EMDR seems to “unlock” the frozen nature of the original trauma, allowing the brain to process the original event in a more adaptive manner. Traumatic events may range all the way from minor surgery, being repeatedly bullied, abandonment, sexual and physical assault (childhood or adulthood), witnessing violence, war experiences, or murder.

EMDR incorporates eye movement or some other type of bi-lateral stimulation (e.g., an alternating tone heard through ear-phones, or rhythmic tapping gently on hands) to unlock these stored memories from their frozen state to a place in our memory recall where it no longer “triggers” a fearful reaction for the individual.