Frequently asked questions

Why do people start therapy?


People start therapy for many reasons. Some come in response to unexpected changes in their lives. Sometimes coping skills can be overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety or despair. Therapy offers support, problem-solving skills and teaches coping skills for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, illness, substance abuse, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management and body image issues. Help can be sought individually, in families or in other groups.




What benefits can I expect from counseling therapy?


First and foremost, it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a new outlook on a difficult problem or it can point you towards a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy will depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn, but can include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values.
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships.
  • Resolving the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy.
  • Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Learning how to manage anger, depression, and other emotional stresses.
  • Improving communications skills – learning how to listen to others, and have others listen to you.
  • Getting “unstuck” from unhealthy patterns – breaking old behaviors and developing new ones.
  • Discovering new ways to problems-solve.
  • Improving your self-esteem and self-confidence.




What happens in a therapy session?


During counseling sessions you discuss the primary concerns and issues in your life. Sessions are usually 45 minutes to an hour long and are generally scheduled once per week/two weeks. If you are in crisis or extreme distress you may require more than one session per week, at least initially or until the crisis passes. In order to get the most benefit from your sessions it is helpful to think about and process what was discussed during your meeting. At times, you may be asked to perform certain activities outside of the therapy sessions. Possibly putting certain techniques into action, reading a relevant book or keeping records. For your therapy plan to “work,” you must be an active participant, both in and outside of your counseling sessions. Counseling involves speaking with a counselor individually or in the context of group or couples/family treatment. Provide Guidance, Encouragement and Support That Helps You:

  • Understand the sources and causes of your symptoms and difficulty functioning.
  • Apply your current strengths and resources toward recovery and…
  • Develop new skills to manage your feelings and be more effective in your various life activities and relationships.




How do I get the most out of my counseling therapy?


If you aren’t sure what your goals are for therapy then the first step is to figure that out. It might take several sessions before a direction is clarified, and during the course of therapy your goals can change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of your counseling.




Is therapy confidential?


In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a therapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. These exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse, dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to protect them.




What should I bring to my first appointment?


Your insurance card, any payment due at the time of service and any additional paperwork provided by the individual therapist.





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