Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I need counseling?
This is a very personal question. For the same problem, one person may choose to not get counseling while another person chooses to seek out someone to help them navigate their issues. A basic rule is that if there are issues that trouble you to the point that they interfere with either your functioning in life or your well-being, then it may be time to seek professional help. This is especially true if you have tried to handle it on your own, and it has not gotten better. We do offer a free 15 minute consultation in order to help you decide whether or not we can be helpful to you.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend, or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
What about medication?
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.
What can I expect during the initial session?
During the initial session we attempt to gather some helpful background information. We also realize that there may be some issues that you desire immediate help with. Therefore, we attempt to balance assessment and diagnosis with actually beginning to work on issues that brought you in.
How long does the counseling process last?
This greatly varies from client to client depending on several factors. The first factor involves how deeply clients desire to work on issues. Some people hire us as professionals to get them through a current crisis only. Other clients feel that they need our help in sorting out deeper underlying issues that either got them into the crisis or that the crisis revealed. Another factor is the severity of the problem that brings someone in for treatment. Normally, goals are set at the beginning of counseling and progress is discussed along the way. When the goals are met, counseling either ends or new goals are made.
How much are parents involved when a child/adolescent comes in for counseling?
This depends upon the nature of the problem. Normally, we involve the parents in some capacity in a few sessions when the child is in treatment. The older the child, the more he or she is treated individually. This issue involves a clinical judgment on the part of the clinician. If the main problem is assessed to be issues within the family, then family therapy is employed as the main treatment modality. Conversely, the assessment may reveal that the young person needs to have a safe place to talk confidentially with someone regarding particular issues. If this is the case, we still provide general feedback to the parents regarding progress and what we think they can do to offer support to their child outside the counseling environment. Under very few circumstances, if any circumstances, would we ever treat a child or adolescent and never give the parents any feedback or involve them in any way.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
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 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?