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Open 9 AM - 9 PM Sun-Sat
103 Old Court Rd. Baltimore, MD 21208

FAQ

Individual Therapy

  • If you are struggling in a difficult relationship, or with problems in your own life or self, therapy can help you look at those problems with a fresh set of eyes and a perspective that is objective, neutral, and completely non-judgmental. Many people find that this element alone makes therapy very worthwhile for them. More than that, our counselors are trained to understand human psychology and functioning and are familiar with common negative patterns that many people follow to their own detriment. They can therefore help you break these patterns and set up new, healthier ones.
    Sometimes, even before you get to a place where you can think about solving the problem, you just need some emotional support. Validation and understanding are powerful gifts that a therapist can give you. The emotional support that comes from a good therapeutic relationship can be invaluable.
    Some of the concrete benefits that you can gain from therapy include:

    • Learning healthier relationship skills such as communication and conflict resolution.
    • Gaining a better understanding of yourself, your motivations, and your goals.
    • Finding new ways to deal with your emotions, including anger, anxiety, and stress.
    • Resolving a particular problem that you need help with.
    • Improving low self-esteem.
    • Breaking out of unhealthy patterns of behavior.
  • Not at all. Everyone can benefit from therapy. A therapist is an objective third party who can help you think through the challenges you are facing and find a way to resolve them, or help moderate conflict you are having with one or more other people. A therapist is trained in theories and techniques that can help you achieve the goals you are aiming for. There is no shame in seeking outside help for a problem you are having trouble solving on your own any more than there is in going to a doctor for back pain you haven’t been able to beat. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of wisdom and courage. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t face some difficulties in their life, and there isn’t anyone who couldn’t benefit from personal time with a therapist.
  • The best answer we can give to you is to come try out a session with us. Clients must feel their therapist is a good fit for them, and the only real way to do that is to try them out. There is nothing wrong with “shopping around” and trying different therapists until you find the one for you (though in most circumstances we don’t recommend continuing to see more than one therapist at a time). You might come for a session or two and then decided you’d prefer to work with someone else, and that’s fine too. After all, you are the client and you are the one who needs to feel you’re getting what you want out of the process.
    You can also see out what past clients have said about us at wellness.com, which hosts reviews of clinical practitioners of all types.
  • Every individual has a different experience in therapy since every individual has different strengths and weaknesses, different personal characteristics, histories, family configuration, and so on. In general, you can expect to discuss what is going on in your life from week to week and past experiences relevant to your issue.
    Generally therapy takes place on a weekly basis. The first few sessions will likely involve a lot of information-gathering so that your therapist can understand where you’re at and where you’re coming from. It is unlikely that you will see major improvement after just one or two sessions – therapy is a process of making changes in your life that are usually quite significant. Odds are you’ve been living and behaving a certain way for months or years or perhaps decades; it will take more than an hour to alter that way. Another important consequence of this is that you will not always feel wonderful and elated during or after a therapy session. While we try to instill our clients with hope and appreciation for the process, sometimes we will discuss uncomfortable or unpleasant topics; sometimes you might not like what we have to say; sometimes we will see setbacks in your progress. These are all normal parts of the growth process. Our hope and our job is that in the end you should find yourself in a much better place, and much happier, than when you began.
    It is important to understand that you will get out of therapy only what you put in. That is to say, you should expect to be an active participant, not a passive listener at a lecture. Our goal is to help you bring what you learn in the therapy room back into your life. Therefore, your therapist might give you “homework” to do, or recommend certain activities outside of session. Examples include charting behavior, reading a book, keeping a journal, and more. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
  • There is no one answer to this question. Therapy can be as short as a single session, or a few weeks or months, or even years. It depends what issue(s) you are trying to solve, and how deep-seated they might be. As an example, specific phobias (e.g. fear of snakes) can often be resolved in just a few sessions; in contrast, people who have suffered childhood trauma might find themselves in therapy for much longer.
  • Medication can be an important part of therapy, especially when dealing with problems that are severely debilitating. The wide range of medications we have available today have helped innumerable patients overcome problems they were unable to solve any other way. At the same time, it is not for everybody, nor is it necessarily a first-round option (particularly when dealing with children). Nor does medication usually solve a problem all on its own, without therapy. If medication is relevant to your situation, your therapist will give you his/her professional opinion and help you make the right choice for you. (Note that we cannot prescribe medications, as only medical doctors can do so. If you don’t have a psychiatrist already who can prescribe for you, we can help you find one. We generally do not recommend obtaining psychiatric prescriptions from general practitioners.)It is important to be aware when trying a new medication that any positive effects may take a few weeks to kick in. Your psychiatrist and your therapist will work with you to find a medication that helps you and that you can tolerate.

Couples Counseling

  • No. We’ve worked with couples who are dating, engaged, broken up, just friends, and more.
  • The purpose of couples counseling really depends on the couple. Some couples are looking to improve their communication. Others are looking to bring back the romance into their lives. Still others are hoping to save a dying relationship and might even be in a crisis situation. And some are trying to figure out if they even want to be in the relationship anymore. If you are wishing your relationship could be different than it is right now, couples counseling may be for you.
  • It works if you work. That is to say, couples counseling is not a magic bullet; if you are in a troubled relationship, it is going to take work on the part of both parties to make things better. That’s not to say that both people are always equally responsible for problems in a relationship – but one way to ensure that couples counseling *won’t* work is to do nothing while waiting around for your partner to change. If you want couples counseling to work, you need to be prepared to work on yourself as well.
  • If your relationship with your partner is a source of stress for you instead of a source of strength, couples counseling can help you transform it into an asset instead of a liability. If you and your partner just can’t seem to get along, couples therapy can help you straighten things out. If you just feel like you are missing something in your relationship – maybe you can’t even define what that is – couples counseling can help you figure it out and try to set things right. In truth, the best answer to this question is, try it and see if it helps!
  • There is no one answer to this question. Couples counseling can be as short as a single session, or a few weeks or months, or even years. It depends what issue(s) you are trying to solve, and how deep-seated they might be. It also depends on the personalities and backgrounds of both parties, and on how ready each is to do the work necessary. I frequently remind clients that the problems you are having probably did not come up overnight, and they are not going away overnight either.
  • Very frequently, going for therapy on your own can be very helpful anyway. It can help you clarify for yourself what you’d like to do given your current situation; it can help you manage what might be a difficult relationship that is unlikely to change; and it can improve the relationship just by the small changes you might make on your own. Furthermore, once one partner comes in, it is not unusual for the formerly unwilling partner to follow suit eventually.
  • It is possible that once you start coming for therapy on your own that your partner might be willing to join in as well – but it is also possible that s/he won’t. However, I have never seen a case where it wasn’t helpful on some level for the person asking this question to come in individually at first anyway.
  • No. A marriage is an important bond that should not be taken lightly, but that does not mean that it is always better to remain married. There are many factors that go into such a decision, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
  • That is certainly a choice you have every right to make. Some people fear that a marriage therapist will try to convince them to stay in the marriage. That is not our approach. If you have decided to leave a relationship, we can help you through that process as well, which is fraught with its own challenges, including your own possible hesitations or guilt feelings, external pressures, practical obstacles, and the like.
  • Many couples have returned to a fulfilling marriage after the heartbreak of an affair – often even more so than it was before. However, it depends on what you and your partner really want. Do you truly want to continue in a relationship with this person? Is s/he remorseful and prepared to do the work of building trust again? A marriage can be restored even after infidelity, but as with any real change, there is no magic bullet. It will take work.
  • That depends on you and your spouse. We can help you do the hard work of rebuilding trust in your relationship, if you are willing to do it. We cannot, however, make your spouse accept your repentance, no matter how much you mean it. If your spouse is willing to come meet with us as well, there is room for optimism, but ultimately the choice to forgive is up to your spouse.

Technical Questions

  • We do not work with insurance companies directly, but our services can be billed to most insurance carriers as an out-of-network provider. This means that we are not in the insurance company’s network of providers, but depending on your plan, you may be able to get reimbursed for our services. You can call your insurance carrier to find out what your out-of-network benefits are, or you can call us and provide us information to check on your behalf. Specifically, you should find out:
    • Whether you have out-of-network benefits. If you do, this means your insurance will pay for you to see a therapist who is not in their network of healthcare providers.
    • Whether you have a deductible. If you do, this means you will have to pay out of pocket until you have paid the amount of the deductible, and only then will your insurance carrier pay for your visits. (For example, if you deductible is $1000, you will have to pay our fee of $100 for 10 sessions before your insurance will start paying.)
    • Whether there is a limit to how many sessions your insurance carrier will pay for.
    • Whether you will have to pay a co-pay (a fixed amount every time you visit, for example, $20) or co-insurance (a percentage of the fee for every visit, for example, 40%).
    • Whether you need a referral from your primary care physician.
  • Your confidentiality is taken extremely seriously. Your therapist is forbidden to discuss any details of your case, including even that you are a client of ours, without your explicit permission. You can feel totally confident that nothing you share in session will be discussed outside the office without your consent. Our confidentiality policy is detailed on our Policies and Forms page and in our Terms of Service. If you want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (doctor, attorney, etc.), you will need to fill out an authorization to permit this to happen.
    Note that therapists are legally bound to client confidentiality except in the following situations:
    • Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders.
    • Concern that a client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or another person.

  • We do! We use a simple videoconferencing platform that requires no download. It works the same as any other video chat tool but has a higher level of security that makes it compliant with privacy laws to protect clients.
  • We do phone sessions when absolutely necessary, but we always caution clients that it simply isn’t as effective as seeing someone face-to-face, whether in person or on the computer. Much of human interaction is based on nonverbal communication, and we rely on it to a large extent to help me help you sort things through. Stripping a session of this important component reduces the effectiveness of the help we can give you.

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Our Testimonials

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Raffi led an informal group which I attended along with a few classmates from Israel in the summer of 2010. We had just returned to New Jersey from studying in a one- to two-year fellowship abroad. Raffi smoothed our transition back to American life, all while volunteering his time and skills. He is extremely intelligent, insightful, trustworthy and pragmatic. I recommend Raffi without hesitation or reservation. He has a serious goal-focus balanced with a great sense of humor. Raffi is a tremendous, vital person to turn to.

Chanan Siris
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Highly professional but down to earth. Both my husband and I felt completely understood and valued; something couple’s often fear simply cannot be achieved. I’m sure we’ll return we need a “tune-up”!

TA
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Raffi made me enjoy going to therapy. I have learned to talk through issues that seemed impossible and I feel so much better about the communication in my relationship now.

Tyson V.
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My boyfriend and I see Raffi and it was the best decision we ever made. It is hard to gather the right words to describe him and how much he has helped us and our relationship.

Summer H.
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Caitlin is so special. She is an excellent listener and offers valuable and practical advice for improving life circumstances. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to grow and improve their life situation. Thank you!

Devorah Mattes
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Raffi, was professional, insightful, and helped us.

Harry S.
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Raffi is a wonderful therapist. He’s understanding, warm, and thoughtful. He does not shy away from difficult or sensitive topics. I highly recommend his practice.

Kim Wise
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I am so thankful to have found Raffi. I feel so comfortable and confident when speaking with him. From small issues to major life decisions I have benefitted from his warmth and genuine care. I can assure you that Raffi will be an invaluable asset to your life.

Danielle Kippur
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Caitlin has been a mentor and guiding force for me over the past 10 years. She has spent countless hours listening and sharing her wisdom with me. Despite her very busy schedule, Caitlin has always made herself available to help when needed. Somehow, no matter what else she has going on in her day, when we are speaking I feel like I am her sole focus and priority. Caitlin is a very genuine, very caring person, and has a tremendous amount to offer her clients.

Naomi S.
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Raffi Bilek is a phenomenal resource. He actively listens before he speaks, and provides meaningful feedback and direction that clearly reflects my unique situation. His comments are wise, productive, and well thought-out. His humor also helps me feel comfortable and makes him relatable – sometimes it is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. I am indebted to him for his active listening and articulate, wise, and compassionate guidance. Thank you!

Jeremy R.
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I cannot speak highly enough of Raffi. In just a couple of sessions, Raffi has already began to successfully impact our marriage. Both my wife and I continue to be impressed with him and our progress each week.

Mark M.
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Thank you so much for all of your help and guidance, especially tonight. Both my wife and I were impressed and grateful for your willingness to work with us despite running a significant amount of time over. You are genuine in your demeanor and sincere with your advice. You are patient with us and seem to balance when to listen versus when to overrule us perfectly. Our confidence in you has grown to new heights and the value you offer is truly evident in our everyday lives.

John S.
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Highly professional but down to earth. Both my husband and I felt completely understood and valued; something couple’s often fear simply cannot be achieved. I’m sure we’ll return we need a “tune-up”!

TA
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Raffi is so easy to talk to. He makes you see things clearly. I’ve only known him a short time and almost immediately i was able to change things that were bothering me. He keeps conversations light and sometimes funny.  He’s a great guy and I recommend him to EVERYONE!

JMP
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I’ve worked with Raffi for six years, and from the beginning, he’s been VERY understanding of my unique situation and has been unbelievable helpful in guiding me to where I’ve gotten to, going above and beyond any expectations I had. I honestly can’t thank him enough in this small text box for what he’s done for me, but I’ll try – thank you, Raffi Bilek!

YO
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Just wanted to drop you a quick to once again thank you for all your help. I honestly felt Tim and I wouldn’t be able resolve our difficulties. But you offered us a safe space to work on becoming more honest, direct and ultimately heard and valued . . . in such a short time, you worked wonders! One or both of us may return in the future but please know we’re both indebted to you. We’re back to cherishing our time with one another and back to looking forward to a long life as husband and wife.
You have rightfully earned the title, “Number 1 Therapist in Baltimore“!

Lisa

P.S. – Do you recall we were trying to plan a vacation and Tim wondered if we could handle it without an argument? We leave for Greece next week and haven’t had one “ugly moment” since we last left your office. 🙂

Lisa & Tim
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Raffi was extremely helpful with the problems I brought to him. He helped me see things clearly and work through my problems. I felt like he really got what I was saying and where l was coming from. I even felt comfortable telling him things I had never told anyone before. He was completely nonjudgmental, which was very important for me. He helped me think about a number of different problems I brought up. but he also referred me to other specialists for problems he didn’t feel comfortable addressing. Overall, I was very grateful for all the help he provided me and I can’t believe how many problems he helped me solve – even ones that l have been dealing with for years!

Dan
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Raffi was very welcoming and easy to talk to. My boyfriend and I saw him for several months and found that he was able to relate to each of us and help us to work together and find solutions that we otherwise would not have thought about trying. He was generally able to meet at the times that were best for us and was available evenings which was great to accommodate our busy work schedules. I would definitly reccommend him to any of my friends or family and will likely see him in the future should I encounter any problems that I may need help resolving in my personal life.

Rachel
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Raffi is a great person to help you get through your challenges in life. He is attentive , listens, and genuinely cares about his patients. Since I have been going to see him I have become less stressed and am able to control my emotions a bit more than before. I continue to see him and hope to eventually be able to tackle these problems on my own one day. Until than I urge anyone having any issues to contact him and let him lend you a helping ear. Thanks Again Raffi.

COA
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I’ve known the people behind the Baltimore Therapy Center for over six years. I’ve found them to be kind, honest, and truly cared about what’s best for me. I’d come in just to visit if I lived nearby.

Yakov Okshtein
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Raffi led an informal group which I attended along with a few classmates from Israel in the summer of 2010. We had just returned to New Jersey from studying in a one- to two-year fellowship abroad. Raffi smoothed our transition back to American life, all while volunteering his time and skills. He is extremely intelligent, insightful, trustworthy and pragmatic. I recommend Raffi without hesitation or reservation. He has a serious goal-focus balanced with a great sense of humor. Raffi is a tremendous, vital person to turn to.

Chanan Siris
First slide

Working with Caitlin for several sessions over the years, I find she is able to validate the areas of my life (my marriage, time management, pregnancy anxiety, child rearing, interpersonal relationships, work/home balance) I wished to improve in my life, offering practical guidance and encouragement that I believed I could excel. I’ve had mostly one-on-one sessions and I have attended workshops on time management and another on strengthening my marriage. Caitlin is very professional–I found her organized, attentive and thorough. She made herself available when I had to reschedule sessions and she would follow up with me on her own time if she knew I was going through a challenging experience. She is one of the most top-quality people I have ever met. I enjoy her personality–she’s to the point yet incorporates much humor. I worked with her mainly when she lived in New Jersey but have reached out to her on occasion now that she is in Maryland because I consider her refreshingly insightful and positive. I would highly recommend working with her.

Amanda Rosner
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I met Caitlin about a year and a half ago. I moved into her community when I was newly married. I automatically felt comfortable with her. She has a warm disposition and so friendly. She really made an effort to get to know me. She periodically arranged “ladies night out” for moms and young wives to get to know each other and to have a break from their busy lives and just relax, socialize, and have fun. Caitlin was always eager to share information with me to help me in whatever I needed from yoga, to child rearing, to how to be a better wife and mom. Caitlin shared crucial information in a 2 part series workshop as to how to be a great mom and wife! I always admired her as being such a great multi-tasker juggling work, family life, social life, as well as making time for herself. Catlin is a devoted wife, mom, and friend. She is a growthful person always learning new ways to better herself.

Chavi Shpilsky
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Raffi is insightful, intuitive, experienced, and has a sense of humor. I have full faith that anyone who enters into therapy with him will gain a deeper understanding of themselves; his goal is to give you the tools that you need so that you can independently be responsible for changing your life to be better and more fulfilling. When I needed to include a therapist in my Masters thesis, without hesitation I called Raffi and asked him to help out. I would recommend Raffi to a friend or relative without qualm. Also, I have attended some of his workshops, and found them interesting, insightful, and entertaining. I heartily recommend these as well.

Channah C.
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I will always be grateful to Raffi for helping me through a very challenging time in my life. Within a few minutes of our first meeting, I was comfortable talking to him. He’s a superb listener. As we continued to meet over the next several months, I continued to grow from our interactions and generally just feel better and more confident. I would highly recommend Raffi to anyone.

Andrew K. Stein