Common Questions

Following is a list of questions we've been asked frequently enough to include on this page. Please reach out if we can assist with further inquiries.

What Is Counseling Like?

Every counseling session, also known as a therapy 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 forty five minutes. In general counseling 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 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 visits.

For therapy to be most effective, you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.

How Does Therapy Help?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists 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:

  • 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

How Long Does It Take For Therapy To Work?

The amount of time it takes for counseling to have a noticable effect varies from one person to another. The type of therapy being applied will change according what hardships and individual is experiencing and to what degree.

Someone who only needs minor adjustments to sort out their issues would likely need less sessions than someone who is suffering from a chronic ailment. The length of individual sessions are subject to change as well, depending on the nature of the therapy.

That's all good information but what does it actually mean for the question at hand? To get an estimation of how long it might take therapy to work for you, consider the following factors:

  • Statistically speaking about half of patients report being recovered after fifteen to twenty sessions.
  • Studies suggest that the longer individuals attend therapy the more likely they will recover. Considering this it's in your self interest to be conservative when setting expectations. Therapy is not a one and done fix - serious problems take serious commitment.
  • Therapy is completed when the patient has achieved the goals that were set with the therapist.
  • You should ask early on about how long you should expect to be in sessions.
  • It's common for the overall length of treatment to change depending on how sessions are progressing.
  • Depending on the scenario, it can take a few sessions to even formulate a treatment plan.

Never hesitate to ask your counselor if you feel that your current treatment plan is ineffective or impractical. We encourage transparency and want to be sure that your therapy sessions are positioned to change your life for the better.

How Frequent Are Sessions?

The frequency of sessions mainly depends on the type of counseling being applied. For an example if you have a debilitating psychological disorder, you might have more frequent sessions than someone who is experiencing more minor issues.

However the usual rate of attendance is once a week or once every other week, keep in mind sessions may become less frequent as your recovery progresses. Weekly sessions may become monthly follow ups, for example.

Regardless even if your recovery is going extremely well, you want to be careful not to abandon counseling sessions too early and lose your momentum. Remember - therapy only ends when all of the goals set with your therapist are met.

Do I Really Need Counseling? Usually I Can 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, counseling is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are 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.

Is Counseling Confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.

However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Can Medication Be A Substitute for Counseling?

In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. By working with your medical doctor, you can determine what is best for you.

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.

Do You Accept Insurance?

Since I am not a member of any insurance panels, I will be considered an out-of-network provider by your insurance carrier.

If you have health insurance that you want to use for your care, you will need to check with your carrier to determine how your coverage could be used for the cost of your care. If you determine that you can use your insurance coverage, I can provide you with documentation that you can file with your insurance company.

While my office will do everything possible to assist you with this information, ultimately it is your responsibility to manage your insurance benefits.

Do You Do Pre-Treatment Interviews?

From time to time, my office has received inquiries from potential clients seeking to speak with me in person prior to making their first appointment. Since establishing a therapeutic relationship with a therapist is important to successful therapy I prefer to meet face to face.

I recommend that you meet a therapist that you are considering for treatment for at least three sessions to assess whether you and the therapist have a comfort level with each other, a clear understanding of the reasons why you are seeking therapy, and a common understanding on the methods that will be used to address any problems that you may be having.

I do not believe that you will be able to achieve that in a 15 minute phone call.

How Can I Learn More?

You can learn more by reaching out with an email.

You can also visit one of our four service pages (marriage counseling, blended family coaching, depression & anxiety therapy, and sex addiction therapy) to learn more about how counseling can help you. It's also always a great option to check our blog for tips and insights about how to improve your wellness and live your best life.