Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Some of the most commonly asked questions Dr. Greenfield receives and their answers.


Here are some tips to use when starting therapy for the first time:

  • Identify sources of stress: Try keeping a journal and note stressful as well as positive events.
  • Restructure priorities: Emphasize positive, effective behavior.
  • Make time for recreational and pleasurable activities.
  • Communicate: Explain and assert your needs to someone you trust; write in a journal to express your feelings.
  • Try to focus on positive outcomes and finding methods for reducing and managing stress.
    • Remember, therapy involves evaluating your thoughts and behaviors, identifying stresses that contribute to your condition, and working to modify both. People who actively participate in therapy recover more quickly and have fewer relapses.
    • Also, keep in mind, therapy is treatment that addresses specific causes of mental illness; it is not a “quick fix.” It takes longer to begin to work than medication, but there is evidence to suggest that its effects last longer. Medication may be needed immediately in cases of severe mental illness, but the combination of therapy and medicine is very effective.

Therapy works best when you attend all scheduled appointments. The effectiveness of therapy depends on your active participation. It requires time, effort, and regularity.

As you begin therapy, establish some goals with your therapist. Then spend time periodically reviewing your progress with your therapist. If you don’t like the therapist’s approach or if you don’t think the therapist is helping you, talk to him or her about it and seek a second opinion if both agree, but don’t discontinue therapy abruptly.

In seeking psychotherapy treatment, you are committed to the following concepts:

  • Understand the behaviors, emotions, and ideas that contribute to your issues and learn how to modify them.
  • Understand and identify the life problems or events — like a major illness, a death in the family, a loss of a job, or a divorce — that contribute to your issue and help you understand which aspects of those problems you may be able to solve or improve.
  • Regain a sense of control and pleasure in life.
  • Learn coping techniques and problem-solving skills.

A Psychologist is doctor who is a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous and mental health problems and disorders. We are trained to provide drugless treatments to provide relief from mental health and nervous symptoms and problems and to help you achieve a more satisfying life. Psychologists’ complete 2-3 years of doctoral coursework in the biological, neurological, psychological, and social aspects of mental illness and disease along with hundreds of hours of supervised outpatient and hospital clinical treatment; this is followed by a one year hospital Internship, and then by a 1-2-year supervised Residency or Fellowship. Psychologists’ are licensed by the Department of Public Health in Connecticut.

Dr. Greenfield completed his Psychologist training at Texas Tech University from 1981-1986, including one-year Internship at the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, and completed his Residency and Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and Fairfield Hills Hospital in Newtown, CT.  Besides being licensed in CT, Dr. Greenfield maintains Certification in Alcohol and Addictions from The American College of Professional Psychology and additional licenses in Marriage and Family Therapy, and the practice of Psychology in NY and has been practicing since 1987.

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 (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.

To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them:

  • What are my out of network mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

We currently do not accept insurance but can provide you with insurance ready superbills acceptable for out of network submission if your carrier requires.

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, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common 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 take responsibility for their lives.

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, trauma experience etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other 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 with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.   In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.

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. 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.

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy with a trained psychologist.  Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Seeking out a Psychologist to work with, they can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem and create a program with you that focus on solution. 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 psychotherapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Understanding your past life experiences and how they affect you today
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
  • Taking control of addictions and replacing with healthy choices