Many people step into my office that have never seen a counselor before. It’s totally normal to have questions about the process. I have answered some common questions here, but don’t worry if you don’t see what you are looking for. Feel free to reach out and I am happy to offer you a free 30min. phone consultation to get a better idea of your questions.
Q: What is counseling?
A: We see a lot in the movies about what counseling looks like. Most of the time, it’s people shifting around uncomfortably on a couch, staring at tacky artwork and talking about their childhood. While I do have a couch in my office, and it’s possible your childhood might come up- that’s about where the similarities end. Counseling is a lot like a team sport. We will take some time to get to know one another, and then figure out the biggest obstacles you are facing right now. We work together to come up with a plan to tackle those obstacles, and with a bit of hard work and perseverance, we can win the game. Corny analogies aside, counseling can be both comfortable, relaxing, and even sometimes fun.
Q: Can you describe how the process works?
A: Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on your needs. In general, you can expect to discuss what’s happening in your life, your background relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on what you need, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.
Q: Who gets counseling?
A: Short answer: Everyone! Longer Answer: There’s this old belief that the only people who ‘need therapy’ are the chronically mentally ill; and that’s simply not true. Here’s the thing…everyone can benefit from taking the time to honestly look at what’s working, and what isn’t working in their life. In this day and age, people are expected to juggle full-time jobs, be loving partners and parents, stay socially active and effectively deal with all the changes thrown at us on a daily basis. Counseling can help anyone with a desire to better understand themselves, and grow as a person or family.
Q: Do you take insurance?
A: At this time, I do not currently work with any insurance companies. I am happy to provide you with a Superbill so that you can file for Out-of-Network reimbursement. Keep in mind that there are definitive benefits to not using your insurance. When you use insurance, your provider generally dictates the number of sessions you are allowed, and mandate a diagnosis, which may not be conducive to the goals we have together in therapy.
Q: How long does it last?
A: A session usually runs about 50 minutes. On some occasions we may agree upon a longer session due to circumstances. There may also be some flexibility based on the needs of our schedules. For instance, most family appointments run around 90 minutes if there are more than two people. However, some people may find that 90 minutes is too long and prefer 60 minutes.
How many sessions will you need? That depends on two things: What you need and what you want. Some issues are resolved within a few sessions while others may take in-depth work. How long and how far you go is always up to you.
Sometimes people only have a short amount of time before they leave the area or a certain amount of money they can spend. If so, let me know up front and we can tailor your sessions to work within your constraints.
Q: How much does counseling cost?
A: A 50 minute session for an individual is $95. Sessions for families and couples are usually 90 minutes, and $145, to give us more time for everyone to be involved. Your first session as an individual will be slightly longer, so that we can make sure all the basics are covered. The first session for an individual is typically 90 minutes and $145. If you are going through financial hardship and cannot afford the full-session fee, a limited number of sliding scale appointments exist to help you achieve your goals, no matter the circumstances.
Q: Do you prescribe medication?
A: I have neither the training nor the legal right to prescribe medications. However, I may talk with you about talking with a doctor or psychiatrist about medication. The goal of medication is to help support you as you heal. Sometimes medications can help, and even if you are taking medications, learning coping skills can make all the difference in your progress. I may also talk with you about non-pharmaceutical options for improving your mood as well.