Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
What is Counseling?
Counseling is the process of working with a mental health professional on your problems or concerns. The mental health professional listens objectively and will help you to learn more about yourself, with the goal of learning new ways of looking at situations. The counseling process can help you feel more capable in both identifying and solving problems on your own. The primary goal is to help you develop the skills and abilities to solve problems as you continue through life.
When should I seek Counseling?
From childhood through late adulthood, there many be times when you need help addressing problems and issues that cause you emotional distress or make you feel overwhelmed. When you are experiencing these types of issues, you may benefit from the assistance of an experienced, trained counseling professional.
What is the policy on Confidentiality?
I adhere to the professional ethical standards and all state and federal laws regarding confidentiality. All information is confidential unless you sign a written release of information for a specific person or agency. There are circumstances in which I am legally required to break confidentiality, such as knowledge of intent to harm self or others. In these situation I have reporting responsibilities.
Will my health insurance pay for counseling?
It is important to understand and confirm your benefits with your insurance company. Many plans have mental health benefits and some do not. Many will allow you to see any mental health professional while some may require that the mental health professional be on their approved list. Some insurance plans will only pay for the treatment of specific diagnoses. Some only pay for the treatment of severe mental illness. Remember that you are responsible for fees for your treatment. I can assist you in confirming your benefits but I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information that I receive. It is not uncommon to receive one interpretation of your benefits from an insurance representative on the phone and then receive a different interpretation when I actually submit the sessions for reimbursement.
How long will I need to be in counseling?
There is no single and/or correct answer to this question. Some people fear that they will become dependent on counseling and that they will never want to stop. It is important that you are open with your counselor about any such fears or expectations. It is important that you know that you are in charge of your counseling. When you feel that you have accomplished as much as you want from counseling please let me know and we will plan for termination of treatment. For some people that may take as little as a few sessions. Others may continue for months or years, often with increased periods of time between appointments. I recommend that you follow through with counseling until you have accomplished the goals that you set at the beginning of treatment. If you find at any time that you would like to terminate your counseling, I do recommend that you schedule at least one last appointment to discuss your progress and how to maintain it in the future.