FAQ

What is counseling?

Counseling or psychotherapy is a unique process that is meant to increase awareness or consciousness, improve self-worth and strengthen relationships. Therapy is a mutual effort with both client and counselor that will explore and can discover the cause to personal problems, then find solutions to enhancing the quality of life.

FAQCounseling needs to include the support given from friends, co-workers, family members and sometimes other helping professionals. Psychotherapy is an active dialogue between therapist and client, asking key questions, getting real answers, and then choosing the best course of action to meet the clients’ individual goals.

Of course it is the right of any client to stop, question or disagree with the recommendations given to them by their therapist. Counseling can be creative, insightful, dynamic, educational and even sometimes uncomfortable as the client experiences the benefits of facing themselves honestly along with the challenges that our life offers. Our goal is to resolve problems, enhance personal growth and experience peace of mind.

Who needs counseling?

However personal or subjective it may be to justify the need for counseling, here is a list of criteria that would indicate counseling would be beneficial:

  • Low energy or prolonged fatigue most of the days in the last two weeks.
  • Difficulty concentrating affecting daily decision making or functioning.
  • Concern over excessive weight gain or loss.
  • Physical aches and pains that appear to have no physiological cause.
  • Concerns over quality of life issues or difficulty making lifestyle changes.
  • Excessive worry or sadness about matters that seems small or insignificant.
  • Dissatisfaction with life purpose or meaning.
  • A pattern of blaming others.
  • Minimizing the amount of alcohol consumed during a certain period of time.
  • Having thoughts of hurting self or others.
  • Feeling isolated from self and others.
  • Unexplained anger or rage.
  • Argumentative behavior.
  • Exaggerated responses to little things that others do or say.

What to expect in a counseling session.

People that have not been in therapy before may associate the experience with something vague or maybe even mysterious. When sound practices rely on various scientific and “proven” methods, combined with common sense and years of practical and clinical experience on the part of your counselor, real progress can be made.

Before the first session many people may feel some anxiety. For many this can be expected and normal. To minimize anxiety and maximize benefits all prospective clients receive a preadmission packet that gives more information about what will take place when you come in, plus information about your therapist and the agency itself. You will be asked to provide information for your therapist about presenting problems, some personal background and medical history. This information is used to determine the nature of the problem that is used to set up individualized goals. The direction of counseling is meant to be structured and strategic while following a natural progression towards improved overall health.

What questions should I ask my counselor to help me decide if this is the best fit?

If desired, you can call to consult with a therapist prior to your initial visit with questions that you may have. Common questions include what credentials or what license a counselor has to practice. Other questions include a therapist’s background, expertise or specialization or what number of people has the counselor treated with similar issues as the caller’s. Licensed therapists are trained in clinical disciplines such as social work, psychology, special counseling programs, pastoral counseling or marriage and family therapy.

How many sessions will it take before I can finish or see progress?

This often varies according to the type and severity of the problems presented by the client and evaluated by the therapist. Mental health and AODA (alcohol and other drug) evaluations usually take 1-3 hours. Successful therapy usually operates within the parameters of 10-20 sessions and some people needing just a few visits to really get back on track. Others may require more long term care depending on the depth or severity of the presenting problems and history. In the final analysis, it is the choice of each client in how long they go.

How soon before I can get in to see a counselor?

As a new client, you can usually get in within 3 days. If the need is more urgent, we will do our best to make it work sooner.

Will anyone else know that I am coming to see a therapist?

No, information can be released unless you give written permission to do so. All information is considered privileged and confidential. Exceptions to this rule with be addressed upon admission and clearly outlined in your rights as a client.

What questions should I ask my counselor to help me decide if this is the best fit?

If desired, you can call to consult with a therapist prior to your initial visit with questions that you may have. Common questions include what credentials or what license a counselor has to practice. Other questions include a therapist’s background, expertise or specialization or what number of people has the counselor treated with similar issues as the caller’s. Licensed therapists are trained in clinical disciplines such as social work, psychology, special counseling programs, pastoral counseling or marriage and family therapy.

What can make counseling most effective?

The attitude of the client and being open with the therapeutic process makes the most difference. Other important factors that can make counseling most effective includes developing a trust with your therapist and a willingness to try something different and what your counselor recommends. Your therapist has experience and years of training to help you through the process of identifying the real problem with helpful tools to make a difference.

Like with many efforts intended to change human behavior there is something to the saying that how much we get out of something depends on how much we put into it. And so it is with counseling. Counseling can make a difference when individuals are willing and open to the process. Counseling makes a difference because of the power of the spoken word or shared language between counselor and client. Neurologically this has proven effects when what we say is recognized by others as important and also valued by ourselves. We know there is power in words whether spoken or in written form depending on the motives or spirit in which it is being said. We also take for granted and often underestimate the restorative power of listening.

How long have I been working as a licensed practitioner?

Over 30 years.

Can I use private insurance?

Yes, most outpatient Mental health benefits or plans are accepted. I also accept private pay and offer a sliding fee scale for those who need a reduced rate.

How long are sessions?

The initial is close to a full hour and all others are 50 minutes long. Extended session time is available under certain needs or upon request.

Are evening visits available?

Yes.

Please feel free to contact us to check to see if others not listed above may also work for you.