Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS COUNSELING?
Counseling is a process, where the therapist collaborates with the client in a helping relationship. Together, they develop goals and work towards progress of those goals. The therapist helps the client to understand more accurately themselves and the influence of the world or people around them, process and understand their feelings/behaviors, and provide guidance toward healthy relationships. Talking about what is important and the things impacting someone’s life can help an individual grow through positive choices and insight.
WHAT IS COUNSELING LIKE?
Your first session is called an “intake” appointment, where you will be asked informational questions by your therapist in order to establish goals for counseling. Counselors help you define these goals, whether you come in as an individual or couple. Your goals can be anything from how to deal with stress, develop better communication, increase positive thinking, work through Trauma, cope with Depression, etc.
Each additional session you will be working in collaboration toward these goals. Therapists have many different therapy techniques and skills, which help provide education and guidance to deal with your problems or life circumstances. Often they will work with you to explore solutions that you can implement in your daily life. Each session can be a combination of you processing your thoughts and feelings, gaining knowledge, working on coping skills and exploring your thought processes. Counselors often provide “homework” or want you to work toward your goals outside of the session. This helps you continue to grow and achieve your goals.
Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to be honest and open with your therapist. If you need more guidance or want to know more in a certain area speak openly with them about your needs. Your counselor has had years of education and experience so use your counselor as a resource.
Goals can change. If you decide you need to work on something different let your counselor know. They can add a new goal and re-prioritize what you are working on.
Taking a break. It is okay to take a break from counseling and check in as needed. Let your therapist know and you can both discuss your progress. Many of our clients see us over the span of years. As life circumstances change our clients want to check back in to gain new insight into what they are going through.
HOW OFTEN WILL I MEET WITH MY THERAPIST?
The frequency of counseling is agreed upon by you and your counselor and is based on your presenting issue and the mutual goals of treatment. This is established in the first session, but can change based on progress. Clients can see their therapist weekly, every other weekly, monthly or on an as needed basis. Regular attendance of your sessions, help you to achieve your therapeutic goals.
WHAT IF MY COUNSELOR ISN’T RIGHT FOR ME?
One of the most important parts of counseling is the relationship between you and your counselor. All of our therapists want you to find the right fit for you and they understand their technique or style might not work with some people. You have two options 1) Talk with your counselor, letting them know what you need from them that you aren’t getting (i.e more feedback, additional support in a certain area, your concern over something they said, etc.). They may be able to adapt their style to your needs. Sometimes they might not have known you needed a different technique and can willingly accommodate. OR 2) We have over 13 experienced counselors. If you feel that your therapist is not the right fit, let us know by calling us and we can find you a different counselor. Don’t feel awkward or concerned for your therapist’s feelings, as they want you to find the right help for you and will be happy that you found it.
WHAT ABOUT COUPLES COUNSELING?
Couples counseling is an opportunity to work with your partner on issues that may be affecting your relationship. You may focus on communication skills, conflict resolution, parenting, extended families and past hurts. Your counselor will serve as a guide during these discussions, and will help you work together to achieve individualized goals for your relationship. Throughout your sessions, counselors might sometimes see you individually or together. Individual sessions can the client more time to discuss personal issues that might be affecting the relationship. They determine this based on the needs of the clients. Therapists are impartial and always work toward helping the needs of the couple.
Couples counseling can be for divorced couples or couples going through divorce/separation. Navigating these changes can be difficult. Couples counseling can be used for increased communication and resolution of conflict in any situation.
I’M A PARENT, WHAT CAN I EXPECT IN REGARDS TO COUNSELING FOR MY CHILD?
We feel parents are an important part of counseling for a child and that the parent-child relationship is important toward growth. Our counselors will speak with parents to gain their perspective of the issues in the first session and provide updated progress related to their child. Depending on the goals, our counselors can accommodate sessions between the parents and child, the child by themselves, or the parent by themselves. In the first session the therapist will collaborate with you on what types of sessions will be needed and what you can expect. At any point if a parent feels they need to discuss something with the child’s counselor they can securely message them or ask for some time during session.
When in session with the child we like to keep sessions personal and private for that child. This helps preserve the therapeutic relationship and provide an avenue for open discussion. However, don’t worry because if there is an issue we feel you need to know we will discuss with the child the importance of parent involvement and help facilitate a discussion.
WHAT IF I NEED MY COUNSELOR TO GO TO COURT?
Clients are discouraged from having a therapist subpoenaed. It is typically not in the child’s best interest for a therapist to testify in court proceedings, as it will impact the client/therapist relationship based on standard of care. None of our therapists specialize in court appearances, however they can provide summary documentation or consult with the guardian ad litem. You are responsible for all court related fees, however it does not mean that testimony will be solely in your favor as only facts and professional opinions can be given. If a therapist is subpoenaed, the following fees apply: court fees are assessed at $250 an hour, which includes but is not limited to preparation, consultations with lawyers or legal representatives (including but not limited to guardian ad litem, probation officer or social workers), depositions, travel, testimony, presence in court even if testimony is not given, filing documentation and any attorney fees incurred by the therapist. Since the therapists have to cancel a full day of appointments to attend court, the client is responsible for a minimum of 8 hour fee, which is $2000. These fees will be paid 7 business days in advance and court appearances will require a subpoena. If the court appearance is cancelled or rescheduled and the therapist is given 72 hours notice, half of the fee ($1000) will be refundable, however the client will still be responsible for any fees accumulated related to preparation for court.