Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that we often hear from clients at the agency:
FAQ #1: How do I pick a therapist?
Often when someone picks a therapist, they do not spend much time shopping for the right one. Choosing your therapist should involve an interview process during your first appointment, in which you ask questions about how they are going to help you. All too often, the therapist is chosen by who returns their call first, who is on their insurance plan, or who they might have happened to come across. So, what should you ask of the therapist you are choosing? Here are some ideas: First, you will want to know why you are seeking therapy, what you hope to accomplish, and what you think you want to work on. The process of therapy may take you down different paths, but in the beginning, you will want to have some idea of what you hope to get from the experience. With that knowledge in hand, you can want to ask your therapist if they have experience working in these areas. Then, ask how they work with this issue and what methods they use. When was the last time they had a client that had similar issues or needs? Your therapist should have an idea of what types of therapeutic experiences will transform what you are asking for.
FAQ #2: Will I be treated respectfully?
This fear is very common for anyone starting counseling. The answer is, that it really does depend upon who you pick as a counselor. We believe that most counselors have good intentions and our decades of experience back that up, however, there are exceptions. On rare occasions, even well-intentioned counselors can be disrespectful. Counselors are human and can be emotionally stirred by what you are presenting. A good, experienced counselor will always treat you with respect regardless of what you are there to talk about. They will have done their own counseling and will know when their own issues are getting in the way. They will either do their own processing (on their own time, not yours) or, if they are seriously affected, they will offer you a referral to another counselor.
FAQ #3: Misconceptions About Therapy
People who want to better the quality of their lives seek counseling as a way to do so. Quality of life! Similarly to those who read a self-help book, attend self-help or twelve-step groups, or any other type of therapeutic experience. Improving the quality of your life does not require being diagnosed, labeled, stigmatized, judged, or any other type of experience that is often feared. When therapy or self-exploration works, the result should be less stress, more joy, greater understanding, a lighter presence of being, greater intimacy in relationships, a sense of direction, and a greater self-concept.
FAQ #4: Media and Pop Culture
There is a lot of belief about what therapy is and what it isn’t in popular culture. Many people have stories of therapy experiences that were not helpful or even destructive and just as many have stories of therapy experiences that were meaningful or life-changing. Just about every portrayal of a therapist in television and movies portrays therapists violating ethical codes of conduct. Even movies that attempt to portray therapists in a positive light will show the therapist being unethical in some manner. In actuality, ethical violations are rare and therapists take action to ensure ethical practice with every appointment. All licensed counselors are required to take classes on ethics every several years.
FAQ #5: How do I determine if I should go to therapy?
Are you happy? How fast are you going? How fast are the thoughts in your head? Are you anxious, depressed, or feeling stuck? How connected do you feel to others? How intimate can you be with the people who are important to you? Do you have intense nightmares or body memories? Do you have unresolved traumas in your life experience that may be affecting your well-being or connection to others? Do you want more joy in your life? Are you edgy, angry, or easily irritated? Do you want to know more about yourself and why you do things? Are you going through a major life transition? These are just some of the reasons to seek therapy!
FAQs #6: Paying for Therapy
We work on a sliding scale for clients who need an affordable option for counseling. We are also on most insurance panels. For more information on what questions to ask your insurance agency see our insurance verification tips.
To discuss your fee for the type of counseling you are seeking please give us a call at 360-281-6824.