1. Will insurance cover the counseling? Call our main office at 800-305-2089 and have our office staff check with your insurance company. We are in-network with several major insurance companies. Those companies who we are not in-network with may still cover our services.
2. What can I expect during the initial session? During the initial session, we attempt to gather some helpful background information. We also realize that there may be some issues that you desire immediate help with. Therefore, we attempt to balance assessment and diagnosis with actually beginning to work on issues that brought you in.
3. How structured are the sessions? In this area we also attempt to provide a balance. On the one hand, there is therapy where the counselor just listens and provides little or no direction or feedback. In contrast, there are also counselors who function more like educators in marriage and life issues rather than counselors. We attempt to provide feedback and direction without stifling clients or watching them wander aimlessly through the counseling process. We also provide guidance and direction while respecting the direction that the client wants to take with their treatment. We frequently make suggestions regarding issues that we perceive a need to focus on. However, it is ultimately the decision of the client as to whether they desire to deal with these suggestions.
4. How long does the counseling last? This greatly varies from client to client depending upon several factors. The first factor involves how deeply clients desire to work on issues. Some people hire us as professionals to get them through a current crisis only. Other clients feel that they need our help in sorting out the deeper underlying issues that either got them into the crisis or that the crisis revealed. Another factor is the severity of the problem that brings someone in for treatment. Obviously, the more severe the problem, the greater the potential for treatment to last a longer time. Normally, goals are set in the beginning of the counseling and progress is discussed along the way. When the goals are met, counseling either ends or new goals are made. Therefore, the average case lasts about 15 sessions with some shorter and some longer. Some clients come 3-4 times and have met their goals, while others with more chronic problems may be in therapy much longer.
5. How do I know I need counseling? This is a very personal question. For the same problem, one person may choose to not get counseling, while another person opts for therapy. A basic rule is that if there are issues that trouble you to the point that they interfere with either your functioning in life or your well being, then it may be time to seek professional help. This is especially true if you have tried to handle it on your own and it has not gotten better. You can always come to see us for one session in order to help you sort out whether or not we can be helpful to you.
6. How much are the parents involved when a child/adolescent comes in for counseling? This depends upon the nature of the problem. Normally, we involve the parents in some capacity in every session when a child is in treatment. The older the child, the more he or she is treated individually. This issue involves a clinical judgment on the part of the clinician. If the main problem is assessed to be issues within the family, then family therapy is employed as the main treatment modality. Conversely, the assessment may reveal that the young person needs to have a safe place to talk confidentially with someone regarding particular issues. If this is the case, we still provide general feedback to the parents regarding progress and what we think they can do to offer support to their child. Under very few, if any circumstances, would we ever treat a child or adolescent and never give the parents any feedback or involve them in any way.
7. What do I do if I need marriage counseling but my spouse will not come in? The short answer is—come in by yourself. The reason for this is that we have seen many occasions where one spouse begins to change and make improvements. In turn, this provides motivation for the other spouse to come.