Why should I consider seeking counseling?
If you are stuck, struggling, or overwhelmed with any area of your life, or if you are wanting growth, healing and greater joy, seeking counseling can be a wonderful answer. Perhaps you are dealing with feeling anxious, sad, hurt, angry, depressed, frustrated or confused. Maybe you are struggling in your relationships and communication with your partner, family, children, parents, friends or co-workers. Maybe something has happened to you that you need to sort through. You may be pro-actively looking for prevention by getting help with an issue before it gets larger and more difficult to manage. Or maybe you are simply searching for self-improvement, ways to take strengths and make them even stronger and more enriching. Counseling can be a helpful, effective and confidential resource to help you experience greater peace, joy, power and freedom in your life.
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
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 could use 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.
How can counseling help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Counselors 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. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a 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 therapy include the following:
· Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
· 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
What is counseling like?
Every counseling session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking counseling are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
· Compassion, respect and understanding
· Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
· Real strategies for enacting positive change
· Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
How can counseling help?
Counseling is a journey that evolves with you and your counselor working together toward common goals and exploring issues to promote your growth and healing. It can be an exciting adventure ? sometimes exhilarating and sometimes difficult. It can provide techniques and insightful feedback for changing what can be changed and learning to cope with what can’t. Counseling can help you to see things from a different perspective, work through emotional issues that may be keeping you stuck, and learn new ways of behaving and interacting with others. The counseling process can be rewarding and life-changing.
Is counseling confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and counselor. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule.
Exceptions include the following:
· Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
· If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
· If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
If you ever have questions or concerns about confidentiality, please be sure to ask your counselor. Please refer to the “Counseling Relationship and Informed Consent Form” under the helpful forms link for additional details.
What happens in a first counseling session?
The first counseling session is important for determining several things. You and your counselor will take time to get to know each other (e.g., sharing background and beginning to defining your goals). It is a good opportunity for your counselor to acquaint you with, and for you to ask questions about, the counseling process. It’s not at all unusual for clients to feel a little nervous coming to the first appointment, but by the end of the session you should feel much more comfortable. It is important that you and your counselor assess whether she is the appropriate person to work with you, and that you believe you can work well together. By the end of the first session, your counselor will provide feedback and suggestions for your future work together.
What is the counselor’s role in sessions?
The primary role of a counselor is to empower her clients. She acts as a guide and facilitator, supporting you in finding your own answers and solutions. She is there to ask effective questions and provide direction and guidance where appropriate. She will help you to establish and achieve your goals, sometimes in unexpected ways, through supporting growth and change, and encouraging the use of strengths and resources already present.What is my role in sessions?
You will benefit the most from counseling if you come openly and honesty, and are motivated and committed to getting help. You may find that counseling at times becomes difficult or stressful; this is often true when dealing with issues and change. At those times and as long as therapy is still helping, your role is to stick with it and keep trying. Be sure to speak up if you have any questions or concerns that come up along the way with the therapy process. You will find that your counselor is receptive to open communication and feedback.
What if my partner/spouse/family won’t participate?
Not all family members have to take part in sessions for therapy to be effective. Of course, it’s better if all affected parties are willing to participate, but they often get involved in therapy later if they see your motivation and commitment. If your loved ones still will not join therapy, come anyway. Therapy with one person still can be effective in making changes that can have positive effects on everyone around you.
What hours are you available?
Hours are available by appointment only. We offer daytime and evening sessions. Please call to schedule an appointment. If we are in session or out of the office, you will receive our voice mail. Please leave a brief message, and we will return all messages as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours. First-time appointments are typically scheduled within one week of the initial call or sooner if needed. If you are calling about a psychiatric emergency, call 911.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you do not show up for your scheduled counseling appointment and you have not notified us at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session.
Do you take insurance?
Thank you for asking. We do not file for insurance reimbursement. This allows us to offer professional counseling at a dramatically reduced rate. Given today’s high dedutibles and co-pays, most of our clients find our service more affordable than comparable services that accept insurance and fold the high cost of filing into their fee structure.Some PPOs and HMOs will cover all or a portion of our services. If you would like to use your insurance, please contact your insurance provider directly via the 800 number on the back of your insurance card and ask about self-filing options for “out-of-network providers.” If possible, ask them to fax or email you a copy of your coverage so that you can use this when you submit any future documents. We will provide you with a receipt after each session that includes a description of services and provider information so you may submit the claims directly to your insurance company. Pathways to Healing Counseling, LLC and our staff do not make any guarantees or promises that you will receive reimbursement from your insurance company for our services.
Also, many clients have success using their flexible spending accounts through their place of employment. This may be another possible option to research.
Why don’t you take insurance?
This is a wonderful question. We decided not to work directly with insurance companies for many reasons. First, they require us to give you a mental disorder diagnosis. Many people that we work with would just need new skills or different strategies to try at home or work, they do not necessarily have a diagnosis. In turn, your mental health diagnosis becomes part of your permanent insurance and healthcare records. Secondly, many insurance companies put profound restrictions on what types of services they will cover. For example, many insurance companies do not cover marriage or family counseling. Thirdly, we want you to be actively involved in determining what type of care you are receiving, with insurance, many of your choices and our treatment options are limited. Lastly, the most important reason we do not take insurance is that it jeopardizes your confidentiality. If we submitted a bill to your insurance company on your behalf, your confidential information is processed by the insurance company and stored in a database. Anyone who is involved in the processing or handling of your claim may have access to your records and anyone who has a legitimate reason to access the medical database, such as insurance companies and possibly future employers, can view your confidential records. Your insurance and healthcare records may be used to determine eligibility for future coverage and treatment.
What forms of payments do you accept?
Payment is due at the time of service unless otherwise agreed upon. We accept cash, personal checks and credit cards (except American Express) and Paypal through our web site. If you would like to pay using Paypal, the payment needs to be received before the scheduled session.
We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Feel free to email or call us. We look forward to working with you!