♠Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage/Family Therapist
Licensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor
Frequently Asked Questions
I need medication. Can Dr. Ferguson prescribe it?
Dr. Ferguson is not a psychiatrist or medical doctor (M.D. or D.O) and does not prescribe medication. Only medical doctors (and some nurse practictitioners) prescribe medication. Dr. Ferguson can make an appropriate referral to a psychiatrist or medical doctor for assessment and possible medication/treatment.
Why do people seek therapy?
People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to figure out how to respond in a healthy way to the unexpected changes in their lives. Others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.
How do you know if you need counseling?
The following situations may indicate the need for professional counseling:
*symptoms of depression or anxiety
*difficulty sleeping, eating, or concentrating
*compulsive behavior such as spending, sex, gambling, etc.
*marital or family conflicts and arguing
*concern about a significant other's drinking or drug use
*anger, resentment, or other persistent negative feelings
*excessive stress and/or worry
*relationship difficulties outside the family (i.e., work)
*you or someone you know is concerned about your drinking/drug use
*any psychological or emotional condition that interferes with your ability to function, that is causing problems in any area of your life, or that robs you
of joy and/or happiness
I know I need help, but I don't know what I want from therapy.
We will identify the problems that you are having in your life, some general ideas about how you would like your life to be, and will develop some realistic therapy goals. From there we will create a "Treatment Plan" that will become the road map to accomplishing your goals.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 50 minutes. Weekly sessions are usually appropriate at the beginning of therapy. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book, keeping records or a journal, or working with a workbook or other homework assignments. For therapy to "work," you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.
The benefits of psychotherapy are many and varied. Sometimes clients feel better as soon as they make the appointment, knowing that they no longer have to carry the weight of the problem alone. It is helpful just to know that someone understands and cares. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Counseling with me is a collaboration where we decide together what issues need to be addressed and the goals of therapy. The individualized treatment plan of action that we develop serves as a roadmap to achieving your goals. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
- Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and developing new healthy ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- If seeking help for substance abuse, you can learn the tools necessary to accomplish abstinence.
What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?
You don't have to come to your first appointment with clear-cut goals. You just have to want to feel better, or want to make changes to improve your life. When we do our intake, we will be able to identify some of the issues that you bring to therapy. But it may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. It is also common during the course of therapy for your goals to change, especially as you feel better.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
There is a vast and confusing array of insurance policies and arrangements. Insurance is frequently billed to the insurance company for the convenience of the patient. When you contact my office with your insurance information, my assistant will typically call your insurance carrier for you. They will identify benefits and coverages. I am part of some insurance panels where my office bills the insurance company, and the patient pays the part that insurance does not cover. I also frequently bill insurance companies that I do not have a contract with. When this is the case, we bill the insurance company for you or give you the information that you need to submit it to the insurance company yourself. We then ask you to pay for services as we go, and we have the insurance company pay you directly for any part that they reimburse. In some cases, you may need to contact your insurance company directly and ask the following questions:
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much do you pay for an out-of-net provider?
- Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
- Is primary care physician approval required?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. See Privacy and Policy page for exceptions.
How can I contact you?
You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "appointment" or "counseling" in the RE: box.
You can also send an email to email@example.com with appointment or counseling in the RE: box (so that I will know that your message is not spam). OR You can go to the Make An appointment page and follow the instructions there.
My phone number is 405-707-9600; My fax is 405-707-9601.
"The road to success is always under construction." - Unknown
for purchase on my"ServicesProvided"page.
Copyright: Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., 116 W. 7th,