Frequently Asked Questions  /  Links

  

  Choosing a therapist
  It is good to interview at least three counseling professionals; most will give you a free half 
  hour of time for this purpose, when you can ask questions and get a feel for the
chemistry
  between the two of you. Most have professional codes of ethics, whether or not they are           licensed. All credentialed counselors and therapists are required to give a written description      of their background, to show their education and experience working with people. 

  Frequency & duration of sessions
  Weekly sessions are traditional for a reason; when sessions are too spread out, it is difficult for either party to develop either     continuity in what's being said, or a feeling of mutual trust. Counseling usually goes anywhere from 3 months to two years,      and it's good to have a basic idea of what you want ahead of time.

  What to expect
  Therapists use a number of different techniques and differing approaches to think about people and situations. It is good to     discuss this with a counselor when you meet them; but it will become more clear after the first several sessions. A lot                depends upon the philosophy and style of the therapist; some let you do most of the talking; others engage in more    
  dialogue;  and still others have a teaching approach. You must see what is most appealing and useful to you at the time.

   Differing with a therapist
  A little difference with the therapist can be part of the process. Even so, it is important you generally feel supported and          validated by the therapist and aim to be as authentic and genuine in counseling sessions as you would be in your daily life.         Most of the work in therapy is accomplished through the relationship with someone you trust outside of your                            personal situation.

   Labels and use of prescribed psychotherapeutic drugs
  Psychological labels (depression, paranoia, hysteria, etc.) and prescribed drug treatment are tools and can be used                    or abused. Labels are simply shorthand for complex responses to life situations, while prescribed drugs are often used               to support a person through a crisis time; some people, however, are prescribed meds to alter chemical imbalances.               The important considerations are whether labels create expectations that are self limiting, and whether drug                              treatment interferes with, or supports, efforts at continuing awareness and involvement with life.                    return

  Signs that I am done and ready to stop sessions
  When a person feels more resolved with their initial concerns, or has reached a plateau in their therapy, sessions become  
  more  conversational, even chit-chatty. This is one sign that you are done or can afford to take a break. It is
important, as a    client, for you to be pro-active. When you are finished, say so. 

  Regular Meetings
  It is important to trust the therapist you are seeing enough to make a commitment to attend the sessions. You will not            always leave feeling better, so deciding early whether you trust your counselor is important for that commitment. In the           first month or two, if you realize you don't feel comfortable for any reason during sessions, trust your instincts and let the      therapist know you won't be returning. Also read the Clients Rights brochure the state requires every counselor to give. 
>> Clients' Rights brochure  (info link)

  Insurance
   I encourage people not to use their insurance for reasons of privacy, and to realize if a company pays for your sessions,            the records are theirs. When I take insurance as an "out-of-network  provider", you would ask whether your company                recognizes out-of-network; I then give a diagnosis and bill for services, collecting any co-pay the company requires.

  Other Common Questions
>>  Consumer Questions about Mental Health and Addiction Counseling 

  Some Links to Helpful Resources

      Literature                                                                                                                         return
      Personal Change:             Finding Each Other:             Family Connection: 
     Writing Down the Bones (picture link    On the Way to the Wedding
(picture link Peoplemaking (picture link)

      Community Resources

      Health Services:                Naturopathic    /    Chiropractic
       Gender Issues:                  Women    /    Men
   /    Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans    
       Mental Illness:                   NAMI Self Help & Resource Guide    
       Cancer & the Family:         Gilda's Club 

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