Frequently Asked Questions

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”  Carl Bard

What is counseling?

Counseling is a collaborative session between the therapist and the client.  As your counselor, I will help you to identify goals and to find solutions to your problems. I can help you to improve your communication skills, coping skills, self-esteem, and to change your counterproductive behavioral patterns.  Our overall goal would be to improve the quality of your life.

Do I really need counseling?

This is a very common question that clients ask themselves and their loved ones. It’s not an easy question to answer.  Therapy is a process of personal growth and healing.  If you are feeling depressed, anxious, experiencing relationship issues, or just feeling not quite yourself due to stress, counseling can help you find relief and enhance the quality of your life. When you are ready to change and improve your life, counseling can help you.

In what ways can counseling help me?

A number of benefits are possible from participating in therapy.  I can provide you support, problem-solving skills, enhanced coping strategies, and can assist you with decision making.  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 your values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to your primary issues or concerns.
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional reactions
  • Improving communication and listening skills
  • Changing unproductive behavior patterns to productive ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

How often should I attend counseling sessions?

I typically recommend that you begin your counseling with weekly sessions to establish consistency, and to also best establish a comfortable, effective working relationship with me.  As you start to accomplish your goals and start to feel better, I typically give you the option of deciding if it makes sense to reduce the frequency of your sessions.

How long will I need to be in counseling?

Some people only need short-term counseling (approximately 8 sessions or less), while other people may need long-term counseling (6 months to a year or more) that involves resolving more in-depth, longstanding problems.  I will consistently review your progress of your goals with you.  As you get close to accomplishing your goals, you and I will develop a plan for discontinuation.  When you have stopped going to counseling and you come to a point where you feel you need some additional sessions, you always have the option of reconnecting with me for further sessions.

Does everything we talk about remain confidential?

Yes, everything you say remains confidential, though there are some exceptions to the rule of confidentiality.  By law, I am required to report:

  • Threats of harm to oneself
  • Threats of harm to others
  • Suspected child or elder abuse, whether the client is the victim or perpetrator

If you would like to have some of your information shared with someone else, such as with a physician or a psychiatrist, I would have you sign a release of information to allow such communication.

What makes therapy successful?

The short answer is – YOU.  Your success depends on how open you are to the process and how motivated you are to follow through with action outside of your counseling sessions.  If you are open and willing to take an honest look within and do the work necessary for change, you will be successful!  And of course, as your counselor, I will do everything I can to make your counseling a successful experience.