Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I know if counseling is needed?
Life is full of uncertainty. Whether we meet changes with role transitions, adjustment to coping with changes in relationships, meet unexpected grief, loss or trauma, or simply desire to better the important relationships in our lives, we may feel the need to speak with a counselor. Counselor’s see the choice to seek counseling as a strength where a person has recognized they have become stuck in life or their relationship and need some helpful guidance to successfully navigate such challenges. While on many occasions you are able to handle life’s adversities with success on your own, others may desire to seek the help of a trained professional.
- Are there any signs that indicate counseling may be necessary?
Each person handles adversity differently. If you notice that you are not yourself, are using drugs, alcohol or sex to cope, or find it difficult to manage your grief/loss of a loved one, cannot manage to do the things you like to do, or have experienced a trauma, it may be necessary for you to seek the help of a trained professional to help you to manage your emotions and overcome your time of difficulty.
- What benefits can I expect from counseling?
While there are many benefits from the counseling process, when successful counseling takes place you will evidence a positive change in yourself, your relationships, and improvement with the issue that originally brought you to counseling.
- Are there any risks involved with counseling?
Many times treatment requires that you recall and discuss difficult experiences from your past or current situation. This can bring up discomfort such as sadness, anger, embarrassment or other emotions that have been buried. Counselors have the responsibility of confronting you about decisions or actions that may potentially be dangerous to yourself, others or which seem to be counterproductive to the goals you established. This can sometimes be met with resistance. However, know that your counselor will walk with you through the process, being sensitive and understanding without judgment.
- How do I find the right counselor for my current need?
You would search for the right counselor in the same manner you would seek to select a primary health care physician or dentist. You trust your counselor with your innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions. Therefore you want to make certain you are in safe, capable, skilled and competent hands of a licensed and trained professional skill in the area for which you seek counseling. This can only be discovered through you searching out options that best suit you needs. When selecting a therapist, check their website or contact the office to see if they disclose their areas of practice. This will be helpful in determining if they are skilled in handling your specific issue(s).
- How do I know if I have selected the right counselor?
Choosing the right counselor is essential to obtaining the results you desire. Therefore, you want to make certain that you and your counselor establish a good fit, ultimately sharing the same worldview (similar beliefs, values and morals). Counseling is a very vulnerable process that requires safety and trust to be the foundation, but is built upon establishing a positive therapeutic alliance between counselor and client. If this cannot be done, it may be best to seek other options for your counseling experience. However, counselors are mandated by law to breach confidentiality under certain circumstances which include: 1) court orders via a subpoena 2) client has become a harm to self or others 3) third party insurance companies for billing purposes.
- Can I be assured of confidentiality?
Personal information that you share with our agency will be met with confidentiality. As a counselor, we are mandated by a code of ethics and governmental laws to ensure the strictest of confidence to our clients. Each of our staff members and counselors will place high value on maintaining confidentiality of each of our clients.
- What can I expect from a counseling session?
Each counseling session will vary. In general, your initial visit will consist of completing initial paperwork, after which you will meet with your therapist to discuss the issue(s) that brought you to counseling. In a collaborative effort, you and your counselor will determine the goal(s) you wish to accomplish and begin working from this point. Counseling requires confidentiality from each person in the office but especially the counselor. The counselor will build your trust by first getting to know you as a person and allow your time together to be met with peace, safety and trust. However, you will work to participate in the therapeutic process to facilitate and accomplish your desired goals. Your counselor will help you to meet your desired goal, in an efficient pace that is comfortable for you and effective in the counseling process.
- What is Distance Counseling?
Distance counseling is web-based counseling which provides the client with the same proven methods of treatment received in an office setting. Counselors must stay abreast of the fast-paced and technology advanced society with which our clients live. Client have various reasons which prevent them from seeking a traditional form of counseling. Whether a client lives outside the area, are home-bound, limited in mobility or simply in need of the convenience distance counseling (web-based counseling) offers, this method of psychotherapy joins together all the traditional and proven methods of counseling but with the inclusion of technology in secured and confidential format. There is no need to download software. Clients log into a secure and confidential portal site. Clients only need to ensure they have Adobe Flash Player (unavailable on IOS or Android).
- What can I expect from my counselor?
You can expect your counselor to help you receive the help you need and achieve the goals you desired.
- What should I bring to my first session?
Please be certain to bring governmental identification and your insurance card. Please arrive 30 minutes early to your appointment to complete the necessary paperwork prior to your intake session.