Counseling FAQs

It's my hope that reading my Counseling FAQs page will help you become more familiar with counseling, and to help you find out if counseling could be a good thing for you.

How do I know if counseling is right for me?

If you, or someone you love, has struggled with a problem for awhile (maybe years) without getting anywhere, perhaps now would be a good time to try counseling?

If you have a new problem and would like to nip it in the bud, therapy early on can keep an issue from growing. For example, you can come in for early symptoms of depression or relationship stress rather than waiting for a full blown episode.

How long do people go to therapy?

It varies according to preference and the financial situation of the client. Here's some possibilities:

  • Eight or more sessions until there's movement on the problem issue and the client(s) feel satisfied.
  • Twice a week during a crisis.
  • Ongoing weekly therapy for a year or more.
  • One or two sessions occasionally as a "tune-up" on something we've worked on previously.
  • Some clients come in for 2 or 3 sessions to get some ideas, and then run with them on their own.

How long are sessions?

A 50-minute session is most common. A longer session of 80 minutes may be appropriate for a couple, or family, to make sure everyone has time to be heard. 

How soon will I feel better?

The good news is that many clients report feeling better in as little as one session. But therapy can cause some discomfort because we talk honestly and directly about the problems, thoughts and feelings that brought you in.

Part of what's helpful about therapy is the sense of relief and accomplishment that comes with increasing exploration, awareness, understanding, insight and skill regarding a problem.

These benefits can happen in every session and are cumulative in their effect.

Okay, now here's the disclaimer. Therapists and other health professional can't guarantee that a client will get better. But I do my very best, and it's likely that you'll improve, especially if you're determined. However, I will refer to another therapist or other type of professional if results are not forthcoming.

What kinds of problems do you address?

As a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), I am a mental health professional educated and trained to help with the relationship and emotional difficulties of individuals, couples, families and groups. LMFT's are also trained to diagnose and treat mental disorders, such as "Major Depressive Disorder."

Additionally, each therapist offers a unique perspective based on his or her own training, experience and theoretical orientation.

What follows are some common ways that I work with a client or a couple. These are examples and not meant for you to try to fit yourself into any particular one:

  • Assist and monitor a client's path through a particularly tough time: a divorce, court proceeding, or a number of things going on at once.
  • Assist and monitor a client through a particularly important milestone or transition: new job, marriage, new baby.
  • As needed and/or ongoing to manage a perpetual health problem, like a disease or chronic pain.
  • As needed and/or ongoing to manage a stubborn issue, like recurrent bouts of depression, alcohol relapse, or other mental health disorder.
  • To create and sustain motivation for health and longevity (quality diet, increasing connection with others, exercise, stress management, etc).
  • Understand, repair, and change a relationship.
  • To get back on track with something important to you (something creative, or an issue previously worked on).

These may seem very different from one another, and they are. But in my opinion, they all involve an important journey - which can be harder when attempted alone. A trained therapist can act as a guide, a resource, and a coach to assist you on your path.

If you're here reading up on counseling FAQs, then you're probably considering starting counseling. Wondering if I work with your particular challenge? Send me a quick email to find out.

Who goes to therapy?

Individuals, couples and families can attend therapy sessions depending on the issue being resolved.

People from diverse lifestyles, cultural backgrounds, and religious/political affiliations can use the skills of a therapist to address their particular needs.

Presently and throughout history, world leaders, movie stars, athletes, and authority figures consult with professionals in the field of psychology for various matters, and to keep themselves mentally and emotionally fit.

What about payment?

There are three options:

1) Pay my usual and customary private fee. Fees are always do at time of service (sorry, no exceptions).

2) If you are experiencing financial stress, I do maintain several reduced fee slots for qualifying individuals. Please don't be shy about asking. If I don't have a spot open I can put you on a waiting list.

Coming in less often can keep the cost down. For example, coming every other week or once a month. 

To know more about my fees, click on Cost and Services.

Please email me your questions about therapy. (And I may put it on the Counseling FAQs page.)

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