What is counseling?
Counseling is the application of mental health, psychotherapeutic, and human development principles to facilitate human development and adjustment throughout the life span; prevent, assess, evaluate, and treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders and associated distresses that interfere with mental health; conduct assessments and evaluations to establish treatment goals and objectives; and plan, implement, and evaluate treatment plans using counseling treatment interventions.
What is the difference between a counselor, therapist, psychotherapist, social worker, psychologist, and a psychiatrist?
There are a variety of types of licenses. To provide both mental health and substance abuse counseling, a counselor is required to have at minimum a Master’s Degree in psychology or social work or similar field. These are often also called a therapist or psychotherapist. A Psychologist has a doctorates degree. A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor who specializes in psychiatric disorders and can prescribe medications. Most people seeing a psychiatrist or their nurse practitioner also see a counselor/therapist.
Can I, my children or significant other/spouse see another counselor at the same time?
Your children or significant other/spouse may receive counseling by someone else. If you are going to do family therapy or couples counseling, you need to let us know so we can communicate with the other professional. Both professionals cannot do the same therapy for the same issues. You may not see another counselor unless you are working on different issues. If you are seeing someone else and will continue to see them, you must inform us prior to starting sessions with us. We will have to determine if we are able to see you or not and you will need to complete a release so we can communicate with them.
Why should I attend counseling?
If you are struggling with issues or have a serious mental health diagnosis, it is often recommended to seek a professional’s help. Oftentimes, we need an outside non-objective opinion to help us get insight into what is occurring. Seeing a therapist allows you to have a judge-free zone and safe place to work out issues.
What should you expect your first visit?
The goal of the initial visit will be to discuss the reason for coming, complete an interview, and establish a treatment plan. This is very important to allow us to develop goals for treatment, discuss expectations, and decide how often you should attend. Also it is important for both you and the counselor to determine if it is a good fit and the counselor can meet your therapy needs.
How often will I attend counseling?
Most people attend counseling sessions, weekly or bi-weekly. Initially you will attend more often. Once you are seeing progression in your treatment, your sessions will be reduced. You and your therapist will determine how often you come. Ultimately, we want to work with you and with your schedule.
If I do not see results in counseling, may I stop coming and get my money back?
There is no guarantee in counseling. We do not promise results or promise to “make you or others change”. We are here to guide you as professionals trained in the field and help you with self-discovery, healing, and apply varying techniques. Also we cannot force anyone to make changes. Coming to counseling must be voluntary and you must be open and willing to make changes in different areas of your life. Ultimately, if you are not satisfied with your treatment, speak to your therapist about your expectations and you may discontinue services at any time.
Can I change counselors if I am not happy?
Yes. If you are dissatisfied or do not feel like your counselor is a good fit, speak to your counselor and request either a different opinion or your concerns.
When should I stop attending counseling?
You and your therapist should end services when either party feels it is no longer needed or not effective. Your therapist may also refer you to someone else if they feel they are out of their scope or are not comfortable/making progress.
What is psychological testing?
Psychological testing, or psychological assessment is the administration of test which are designed to be objective and standardized measure. We often utilize testing to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Testing is often required for the school system and workforce at times. There are several types of tests:
To provide testing, one must be trained in administration of the testing materials and interpretation.