Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect from my first appointment?
In your first session, the therapist will ask questions about you and your life. Questions will be related to the circumstances that led you to seek out therapy. This information helps him/her make an initial assessment of your situation. Your therapist will share some beginning impressions of how therapy can best address your concerns. There will also be time to address any questions you have regarding your counseling experience.
We ask you to print and complete the initial visit forms online prior to your first appointment. If you do not have access to a printer, please come in 15 minutes early to complete the initial visit forms in the waiting room before your first session.
How frequent/long are counseling sessions?
Sessions are typically about 50 minutes long. When you first begin therapy, weekly meetings are most effective, unless a crisis situation calls for more frequent contact. As therapy progresses and problems begin to resolve, less frequent session are scheduled.
Why is a professional therapist better than talking to a friend?
When our friends and family’s advice is not leading to real solutions and problems persist over time, a professional therapist may be remarkably helpful. Professional therapists have the benefit of specialized training, research, and considerable experience in helping individuals, families, and couples find effective solutions for deep and persistent life issues.
I’m not sure my problems are a big deal, should I just wait to see if they all work out?
Many of life’s problems are temporary. We each are equipped with a set of learned coping mechanisms and problem solving skills. However, when these coping mechanisms are not healthy or our problems persist in spite of our best efforts to address them, then professional help may be necessary. There is no problem that is too small or too big – it is most important to take care of yourself and seek help if you need it. Seeking counseling before a problem grows often reduces the length of time needed for counseling.
Does Marriage Counseling make a difference?
Yes, in most cases it can make a significant difference.
The majority of couples we have worked with report substantial improvement in their marital satisfaction. Couples, who enter the therapeutic process with a genuine desire for change and a willingness to step out of entrenched beliefs and/or habits, find substantial healing through treatment.
Will you work in conjunction with my psychiatrist?
Yes, we frequently collaborate with other licensed mental health professionals. We require a signed release of information to share any protected health information with your providers.
How confidential are counseling sessions?
With the exception of a few specific circumstances, sessions are completely confidential. If you request that we share your information with a third party, then we will ask you to sign an Authorization to Release Information form so that we can respond to your request. The release will stipulate the specific information that you would like us to share and with whom the information may be shared. There are circumstances, called mandates, that require confidential information be shared in order to protect those that are at risk when harm to self or others is a reasonable concern. Your therapist will explain these circumstances in detail during your first appointment.
If I need help and I cannot get a hold of you what should I do?
We will return calls within 24-48 hours during business days. We may call sooner, as we seek to return calls as soon as our schedule allows. If your situation is urgent, please indicate it on your message, and if it is life threatening please call 911.