Elizabeth Robbins, Ph.D.

             Licensed Psychologist

                                                                                                         Birmingham, Michigan

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I tell if I need to ask for help?
It isn't always easy to know when you need to ask for help rather than continue trying to make things better on your own. Here are some signs that it might be time to see a psychologist:

       When the way you feel is affecting your sleep, your eating habits, your job, your
       relationships, your everyday life.
       When you worry all the time, and never seem to find the answers.
       When it's not getting any better.
       When you feel trapped, like there's nowhere to turn.
       When you feel like you cannot do it alone.

How does therapy help?
In general, psychotherapy is a cooperative process by which an individual can find resolution to persistent problems and underlying patterns that keep him or her from enjoying certain aspects of life, achieving overall satisfaction or simply "being himself or herself." Often, people are struggling with issues of depression, anxiety or other common issues which present obstacles to satisfying relationships, connected emotional lives, academic success, fulfilling careers and other psychological wants and needs. Through therapy, people learn to recognize and resolve problematic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving which are related to the difficulties they are currently experiencing.

Therapy is an effective way to better understand human emotions and, consequently, to enrich one's understanding of him or herself. Individuals can learn to develop deeper, more fulfilling relationships with family and friends, and can often become more successful in their careers and other life pursuits. In addition, as emotional functioning is closely related to physical functioning, psychotherapy can help individuals deal with medical issues such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and many others.

Therapeutic approaches differ in many basic ways, but they all include work with a trained psychotherapist that helps the client, through seeing him or herself in a variety of new ways and from ever-shifting viewpoints, to facilitate change and personal growth.

How long does therapy take?
As psychological needs and goals vary from individual to individual, there is no easy answer to this question. In general, however, short-term therapy is typically best-suited to individuals who have very specific goals and needs, such as overcoming a certain phobia or giving up unwanted "habits" such as smoking, overeating, etc. The duration of this therapy tends to be anywhere from six weeks to a few months, during which the therapist may be relatively directive, working with the individual to cultivate goal-oriented patterns and behaviors.

Contrastingly, long-term therapies tend to be less structured in approach. Although specific goals and behaviors are targeted, long-term psychotherapy takes the time to go deeper and understand the origins of unwanted feelings and behaviors. This approach can alleviate acute emotional issues. In addition, long-term therapy is particularly well-suited to addressing more subtle emotional issues, such as pervasive feelings of dissatisfaction. Longer-term therapy also helps people who wish to experience life and relationships in a more satisfying manner. Longer-term therapy encourages the patient to explore his or her personality to uproot certain obstacles and undesirable patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Although it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of short-term versus long-term psychotherapy, you do not need to make this decision yourself. In the first few sessions, I will work with you to better understand your goals and will suggest a plan of treatment.

Do you prescribe medication?
No. If necessary, I will make referrals to a psychiatrist who can meet with you and determine if medication may be helpful in alleviating your symptoms.

Do you accept insurance?
I am an out-of-network psychologist for insurance plans.  If you have mental health benefits with your insurance plan, you will be eligible for reimbursement for some or all of the session fee, depending on the "out-of-network" benefit your plan offers.  Patients with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will be reimbursed based on their out-of-network benefits. I will provide you with a receipt and insurance form you can use to obtain reimbursement. I am not a panel provider for any Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).


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Elizabeth Robbins, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
999 Haynes, Suite 300 Birmingham, Michigan 48009


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