Frequently Asked Questions
About the Counseling Process
Why should I go to counseling?
Counseling can help if you are experiencing any of the following:
Sadness, frustration, or loneliness persistently getting in the way of meaningful relationships or life goals
Often feeling out of control when angry, irritated, or fearful
Feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed by recurrent feelings of anxiety, worry, or guilt
Facing major problems at home, work, school, or in the neighborhood that affect how you act or live
Personal life, work and/or relationships with family and friends are more difficult than they should be
Experiencing a loss or trauma making it difficult to cope
Thoughts of hopelessness, helplessness or just wanting to give up on life
A physician, family member or friend or other trusted individual suggesting counseling
Losing joy or motivation at work, home or in other personal areas
If your feelings are severe and you have any thoughts of self-harm, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
What will happen at the first session?
The first session is a time for you to get oriented and for your counselor to start learning about you. Your counselor will:
Explain the therapy process and expectations
Review his or her policies
Answer any questions you might have to help you feel comfortable.
The therapist may ask you questions about:
Your current life
How you've been feeling during the past year.
Your relationships with family and friends
Your work and home environment
And other such questions to get better acquainted.
This will help build a solid foundation for your work together.
Sessions typically last 45-55 minutes once a week at the beginning. You may meet less or more often depending on what you and your therapist decide is best for you.
What types of therapists are there?
Master’s level clinicians provide counseling. They do not manage psychiatric medications. Some examples:
Social worker (LSW or LCSW),
Professional Counselor (LPC or LCPC),
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC)
Doctoral level clinicians provide counseling and administer testing to diagnose issues like learning disorders. They do not manage psychiatric medications:
Those who have attended medical school and received extra training in psychiatry can provide counseling, but will likely focus on evaluation, diagnosis and management of psychiatric medications:
Is counseling confidential?
Yes, with some exceptions. The therapist cannot tell anyone - not even your close family members - about what is discussed.
Some exceptions generally include:
Counselors are mandated by law to report:
How long does counseling last?
The length of time in counseling will depend on:
1. The type of personal concerns you have (how long and how severe)
2. What you tell your therapist (how open you are); and
3. The kind of relationship you have with him/her (how much trust has been built).
Some people are helped after only a few sessions while others may need or prefer a longer term therapy that may last from several months to years.
If needed, family members may attend some of the sessions to provide extra support and to help improve family relationships.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN COUNSELING
It is normal and encouraged for clients to ask many questions when choosing to work with a professional. Below are some questions potential clients ask about counseling (also called therapy).
If you are thinking about whether counseling could be helpful to you, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Has your sadness, frustration, or loneliness persistently gotten in the way of meaningful relationships or life goals?
Do you often feel out of control when you are angry, irritated, or fearful?
Do you feel overwhelmed or paralyzed by recurrent feelings of anxiety, worry, or guilt?
Have you recently experienced major problems at home, work, school, or in your neighborhood that might be disrupting your usual way of behaving or living?
Is your life being negatively affected by the way you are feeling?
Is your personal life, work and/or relationships with family and friends more difficult than you think it should be?
Have you experienced a loss or trauma with which you are having trouble coping?
Are you having thoughts of hopelessness, helplessness or just want to give up on life?
Has a physician, family member or friend or other trusted individual suggested that you may benefit from counseling?
Have you lost joy in life or are you having trouble with motivation at work, home or in other personal areas?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may find it helpful to talk with a therapist. If your feelings are severe and you have any thoughts of self-harm, please do not wait and call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
The first visit generally includes orientation and assessment. At this stage, the therapist will welcome you, explain the therapy process and expectations, review policies and answer any questions you might have to help you feel comfortable. The therapist will ask you questions about your current life and recent stressors and how you've been feeling during the past year. Your therapist may also ask you some questions about your health, your relationships with family and friends, your work and home environment and other such questions to get better acquainted. This will help build a solid foundation for effective treatment. When you start therapy, you generally expect to meet with your therapist for 45-55 minutes sessions once per week. You may meet less or more often depending on your personal situation and what you and your therapist decide is best for you.
The type of help you are offered by your therapist will depend on (1) the type of personal concerns you have (duration and severity); (2) what you tell your therapist (openness and cooperation); and (3) the kind of relationship you have with him/her (trust). Some people are helped after only a few sessions (short-term therapy) while others may need or prefer longer treatment (long-term therapy) that may last from several months to years. When appropriate, family members may attend some of the counseling sessions to provide extra support and to help improve family relationships.
This website is for informational and referral purposes only. The appearance of any therapist on this website should not be seen as a recommendation. We do not license, endorse, or recommend any particular provider, nor do we make any judgment about the quality of services provided. CAATCH does not guarantee the accuracy of the information concerning the content at this site or any sites we link. CAATCH is not a group practice and the responsibility for selecting a provider resides with each individual.
© 2018 by CAATCH