What are professional counseling services (therapy)?

Professional counseling services is commonly referred to as “therapy.” Therapy is the process of meeting with a therapist with the purpose of resolving some issue or concern. This can include problematic behaviors, beliefs, feelings, and/or somatic complaints (sensations in the body). Therapy can address a number of different issues. For a complete list of what issues Positively Speaking addresses, please see the services tab.

 

Is therapy right for me?

Therapy is both a personal and an individual decision one needs to make. Therapy is oftentimes not a “quick fix.” It requires time to get to know one another, identify treatment goals, and work towards those goals and the change(s) necessary to promote healthy change in one’s life. If you are open to learning new ways to make positive changes in your thinking, feelings, and behaviors, therapy can be a benefit to you.

Once you are meeting your goals you and your therapist will discuss graduating from therapy. At Positively Speaking, you will receive individualized services specific to your needs with a strengths-based approach. It is common to have homework to do outside of therapy in between sessions to maximize the benefits of therapy. Depending on the presenting issue(s), you can expect that your therapist will recommend attending therapy either on a one time per week or one time every two weeks basis initially. Depending on progress, sessions may be spread out further which will be addressed at each session.


How can therapy help me?

Therapy can be very helpful if you are open-minded and motivated to work with your therapist about making positive changes in your life. We will work together to identify presenting issues/concerns to address in therapy, identify strengths, treatment goals and strategies to use in order to help you be successful in your life in whatever capacity that may be.


What is a therapy session like?

In general, you will meet with your therapist for an initial intake session to complete the assessment process and a thorough history (approximately 1-2 sessions). This will help your therapist determine what issues or concerns are being presented and to determine whether you and your therapist will be a good fit for each other. Next, you work together with your therapist to identify treatment goals to work toward. Your therapist will utilize techniques to assist you with your issue or concern. Your therapist will tailor the session to meet your needs. There may be specific activities that you and your therapist will do during the session to help you process your thoughts and feelings to promote growth, healing, and change.  When progress has been made you and your therapist will discuss spreading out your sessions further and closure of therapy services.


Please know that research suggests that the therapeutic relationship is one of the strongest factors in the change process. If you do not feel comfortable with your therapist, please let your therapist know right away. If you are unable to overcome this, your therapist can help to refer you to another therapist that you may feel more comfortable with. Since the therapeutic relationship is so important, it is imperative to feel at ease with your therapist in order to gain the maximum benefit from therapy.


Does going to therapy mean “I’m crazy?”

The idea that only those that attend counseling or therapy are “crazy” is false. Many individuals choose to seek out therapy services. We all have issues that we go through within our lives. Many ordinary people seek out therapy services to help them with common issues to everyday problems.  Some common issues that folks seek out services include: anxiety, depression, trauma, communication/relationship issues, divorce, anger, grief, parenting and child behavioral concerns.

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Is medication necessary?

In some cases medication in addition to therapy services could be the best treatment for certain individuals. Medication alone is oftentimes not the best course of action, as it just treats the symptoms and not necessarily the underlying issue(s) that is causing the problem(s).  Your therapist will work with you closely and if medication in addition to therapy needs to be explored further, that will be your decision. Your therapist can assist with referring you to a medical doctor to determine whether medication may or may not be appropriate for you, if applicable.


Do you accept my insurance?

It is your responsibility to contact your insurance provider to determine what your mental health benefits coverage is prior to your initial session. You must obtain prior authorization with the authorization number prior to your first visit, as most insurance companies do not back date for services. If you have a deductible, you must be aware of the deductible amount. If you have not met your deductible, you will be responsible for the full amount of the session until your deductible is met.

Some questions to ask your insurance provider are:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • Do I have a deductible? If so, what is the deductible amount?
  • What is the co-payment amount per session?
  • How many sessions does my plan cover? Does that cover 45 minute sessions or 60 minute sessions?
  • Is the therapist an in-network provider?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Do I need a referral from my Primary Care Physician?


Is therapy confidential?

In general, the communication(s) between a therapist and a client is confidential, however there are some limits to confidentiality. No information is given unless written permission is given to collaborate and/or share information by an individual signing a release of information granting permission to do so either by the client or the parent/guardian of a child.

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult elder abuse.  The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities.

  • If a client is threatening bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities and the person harm is intended for.

  • If a client is threatening bodily harm to self. The therapist is required by law to report this to the parent/guardian if the client is under 18 year of age. If an adult, the therapist will make every effort to develop a safety plan to ensure safety, if this can not be done, other measures may need to be taken (possible hospitalization) to ensure client safety.