Answers to common questions about counseling…

When should you seek counseling?  How do I know I need counseling?

There are often times in life when certain issues or life events cause emotional distress, problems in relationships or change how we view ourselves and others. Often, individuals become overwhelmed with their emotions or their have problems in their relationships. They may have difficulty concentrating at work or school, withdraw from friends and family, or find their emotional pain to be unbearable. They feel anxious or unhappy for days at a time, can’t sleep, lose their appetite, or have problems communicating. As a trained professional I can help you through these difficulties and teach you the skills to handle issues and problems on your own. Problems that can be addressed in counseling are, but not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Relationship and family issues
  • Traumatic Experiences
  • Addictions
  • Sexual abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety, Stress & Fear
  • Low self esteem
  • Grief and loss
  • Career Change & Job stress

If someone is questioning if they should go into counseling that is probably the best indicator that they should. You should trust your instincts.

Indicators you may need Counseling:

  • Have suffered a traumatic experience (even if long ago in childhood)
  • Spend 5 out of 7 days feeling unhappy
  • Regularly cannot sleep at night
  • Have lost someone or something (such as a job)
  • Have a chronic or acute medical illness
  • Can no longer prioritize what is most important in your life
  • Feel that you can no longer manage your stress
  • Feel anxious or fearful most of the day

If you’re not playing some, working some, and learning some, then you’re out of balance. There’s a potential for some problems. You don’t have to be “sick” to benefit from counseling. Counseling is more than a treatment of mental illness. Some difficult issues we face in life are part of normal development. Sometimes it’s helpful to see what you’re going through is quite normal.

What is professional counseling?

Professional counselors work with individuals, families, groups and organizations. Counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor and client. Professional counselors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health. Through counseling you examine the behaviors, thoughts and feelings that are causing difficulties in your life. You learn effective ways to deal with your problems by building upon personal strengths. A professional counselor will encourage your personal growth and development in ways that foster your interest and welfare.

Who are professional counselors?

Professional counselors provide quality mental health and substance abuse care to millions of Americans. Professional counselors have a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling or a related field which included an internship and coursework in human behavior and development, effective counseling strategies, ethical practice, and other core knowledge areas.

Professional counselors adhere to a code of ethics that protects the confidentiality of the counseling relationship; prohibits discrimination and requires understanding of and respect for diverse cultural backgrounds; and mandates that professional counselors put the needs and welfare of clients before all others in their practice.

Will my health insurance cover counseling?

A receipt for counseling services can be provided for reimbursement through health insurance. Contact your health insurance carrier for more information and instruction.

How long does counseling take?

Ideally, counseling is terminated when the problem that you pursued counseling for becomes more manageable or is resolved.

Is everything I say confidential?

Professional Counselors adhere to Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice which require counselors to protect the confidentiality of their communications with clients. Most state licensure laws also protect client confidentiality. As a client, you are guaranteed the protection of confidentiality within the boundaries of the client/counselor relationship. Any disclosure will be made with your full written, informed consent and will be limited to a specific period of time. The only limitations to confidentiality occur when a counselor feels that there is clear and imminent danger to you or to others, or when elder, disabled adult, or child abuse is revealed.

American Counseling Association