FAQ's

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What is Counseling?

Counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor and client. It involves a unique, confidential, therapeutic, helping relationship where the counselor acts as a facilitator to help the client understand themselves more accurately and the world around them.  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.

What is Counseling like?

Counseling will be a different experience for different people based on the problems being addressed and the type of counseling pursued. Your counselor will partner with you as we strive to meet your individual needs based on your unique set of circumstances. Whether, you need Individual, Couples, Family or Group Counseling will affect certain dynamics of your experience.  Your first session, usually called an "intake" will be a time for you to get to know your counselor and asked any questions that you may have for them.  You will also be asked basic, informational questions and work with your therapist to establish goals for counseling. The type of counseling and your needs and goals will determine the process of counseling.

What is Individual Counseling?

Individual counseling is a personal opportunity to receive support and experience growth during challenging times in life. Individual counseling can help one deal with many personal topics in life such as anger, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, addictions, marriage and relationship challenges, parenting problems, school difficulties, career changes, identity concerns, overcoming traumatic experiences, etc.

What is Substance Abuse Counseling?

Substance Abuse Counseling is a counseling specialization that treats clients who have a chemical dependency on drugs or alcohol. Whether counseling addicts or those who fear they will become addicts, a substance abuse counselor works with their client to help them overcome their dependency and become self-sufficient.  Substance Abuse Counseling helps people with behavioral disorders by talking through the complexities and causes of their addiction.  Substance Abuse Counseling is a combination of treatment and support to help people break free from drug or alcohol addiction.  Substance Abuse Counseling is one-on-one therapy with clients to develop goals and strategies for pursuing sobriety — all in a compassionate and confidential environment.

What is Couples Counseling?

Every couple experiences ups and downs in their levels of closeness and harmony over time. This can range from basic concerns of stagnation to serious expressions of aggressive behavior. Marriage counseling or couples counseling can help resolve conflicts and heal wounds. Overall, couples counseling can help couples slow down their spiral and reestablish realistic expectations and goals. Couples counseling is an opportunity to work with your partner on issues that may be impacting your relationship. You may focus on communication skills, conflict resolution, or making decisions about your future together. Your therapist will serve as a mediator and guide during these discussions, and will help you work together to focus on and achieve specific goals for your relationship.

What is Family Counseling?

Family counseling is often sought due to a life change or stress negatively affecting one or all areas of family closeness, family structure (rules and roles) or communication style. This mode of counseling can take a variety of forms. Sometimes it is best to see an entire family together for several sessions.  Common issues addressed in family counseling are concerns around parenting, sibling conflict, loss of family members, new members entering the family, dealing with a major move or a general change affecting the family system.

What is Group Counseling?

Group counseling allows one to find out that they are not alone in their type of life challenge. To be involved in a group of peers who are in a similar place not only increases one’s understanding of the struggles around the topic but also the variety in the possible solutions available. Typically, groups have up to eight participants, one or two group leaders, and revolve around a common topic like: anger management, self-esteem, divorce, domestic violence, recovery from abuse or trauma, and overcoming substance abuse or various addictions.

How can Counseling help me?

Benefits of counseling will vary from person to person. However, it is also important to realize that there is always a risk of psychological side effects with psychotherapy. Sometimes symptoms worsen before they get better. You can expect to experience some emotional and relational discomfort as we attempt to resolve issues and change behavioral patterns. Old ways of thinking, acting, and feeling are likely to come under duress as we work toward your goals. Our goal is to confront issues and emotions together, and with time, to work through them together. A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you engage in the process and put into practice what you learn on the journey. Some of these benefits include:

  • Personal Growth

  • Increased autonomy

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values

  • Improved relationships

  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy

  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety, and life’s every changing problems

  • Emotional regulation/ Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures

  • Improving communications and listening skills

  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones

  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family and/or marriage

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

How long does Counseling take?

Length of treatment is very difficult to predict. Each individual has unique strengths and weaknesses, and each problem is different from the next. Our goal is that each client will finish in a timely manner, without unnecessary waste of time or money. Ideally, counseling is terminated when the problem that you pursued counseling for becomes more manageable or is resolved.

Do I really need Counseling?

Only you can really answer this question, however, everyone goes through challenging situations in life. While it may be true that you have successfully navigated other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with asking/seeking out extra help when you need it. Therapy is often for people who have enough self-awareness to realize that they presently need extra support. This is actually something to admire. Taking responsibility and accepting where you are in life is a sign of maturity.  Therapy can give you the extra support needed in order to change your situation and improve your life.

Do you take insurance?

As a small non-profit we are unequipped to currently process insurance claims, but please reach out to us as we may be able to make other arrangements to accommodate you. Many professionals do not work directly with insurance companies.  This ensures that your therapist makes treatment decisions that are purely based on professional expertise and not on health insurance policies. Be aware of the fact that the use of insurance benefits requires the submission of a medical diagnosis as a basis for the provision of services. Clients are encouraged to consider carefully the potential ramifications of having a documented diagnosis as part of your medical record, such as future under-writing considerations should you need to switch insurance carriers. Likewise, many professionals prefer to allow the client/patient decide what information they will share with their insurer.  Your privacy is respected and protected here.

Do you offer sliding scale rates?

While I do not offer sliding scale rates directly; I do partner with openpath psychotherapy collective to offer lower rates to those who can not afford current market rates.  I recommend visiting www.opempathcollective.org to find out more and register for membership.

What are some common myths about Counseling?

  • Asking for help is a sign of weakness.

    Contrary to this belief, it takes a great deal of emotional strength to seek help for problems that may be too overwhelming to manage alone.

  • A therapist will fix my problems right away.

    The goal of counseling is not for someone else to “fix” your problems. We are here to help you to identify those concerns and to set goals for yourself. Solving those problems may involve working with your therapist to explore your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. In doing so, you can explore your options and make a decision for how to best achieve your goals. YOU are the best one to fix your problems!

  • A therapist can’t understand what I am going through, because they’re not going through it themselves.

    We agree that each individual is unique, and to achieve a complete understanding of one’s situation is very difficult. However, our staff members have been trained to learn about, be sensitive to, and respectful of the unique experiences of each client. Those experiences may include concerns related to gender, age, cultural background, racial/ethnic differences, sexual orientation, gender identity, family-of-origin, or socioeconomic issues.

What is Life Coaching?

A life coach is wellness professional who helps you identify your goals and develop an actionable plan to achieve them.  Life coaches aid their clients in improving their relationships, finances, health, careers, general well-being and day-to-day lives.  Life coaches can help you clarify your goals, identify the obstacles holding you back, and then come up with strategies for overcoming each obstacle.  They guide people through the process of making life changes by helping them evaluate the steps they must take to reach a particular goal, then help them decide how — and whether — to take those steps in the most efficient, effective and rewarding way possible.  In creating these strategies, life coaches target your unique skills and gifts. By helping you to make the most of your strengths, life coaches provide the support you need to achieve long-lasting change.  A life coach is professionally trained to help you maximize your full potential and reach your desired results.  A life coach acts as a motivator, strategist and accountability partner. Unlike a therapist, a life coach doesn’t help solve problems from your past — they’re focused on helping you move forward with new ways of acting and thinking that will help you reach your goals. Some life coaches specialize in particular types of life coaching, including career coaching, relationship coaching, small business coaches, executive coaches, enneagram coaching, health and or wellness coaching, and personal finance coaches.  Life coaching is distinct from giving advice, consulting, counseling, mentoring and administering therapy. You would hire a coach to help you with specific professional projects, personal goals and transitions.

What can a Life Coach do for you?

One of the main benefits of working with a life coach is the ability to gain a fresh, informed perspective on obstacles or circumstances that you face. In addition to offering new insight into challenges, a life coach can help you to zero in on negative patterns that could be standing in your way from success, happiness, and fulfillment.  Many people view working with a life coach as a means of bridging the gap between your current circumstances and the life you’d like to lead. The following are some of the positive outcomes that could result from joining forces with a life coach:

  • Better work/life balance

  • Elimination of long-held fears and anxieties

  • Enhanced creativity

  • Greater financial security

  • Improved communication skills

  • More satisfying work life

  • Stronger relationships with friends and family

Additionally, people frequently pair up with life coaches in order to work through barriers that may interfere with finding a partner/mate. Many people also look to life coaches for help in identifying their passion and carving out their ideal career path.  Since sessions typically take place on a regular basis over a prolonged period of time, life coaches can ensure that their clients are implementing what is necessary to experience significant change.  Along with providing the support and motivation essential for maintaining momentum, coaches can observe when a client is stuck or needs to recalibrate their goals. As a result, clients often achieve those goals more quickly and efficiently than they would if working on their own.

What is Career Coaching?

A career coach is life coaching specialization who helps you identify your career goals and develops an action plan to achieve them.  Career coaches are experts in skills such as career planning, resume building, negotiation and interviewing.  A career coach will help guide you during a job search or a career transition, or help you improve and advance in your current position.   A career coach can even help you narrow down your career choices if you’re unsure or on the fence about what you want to do.   A career coach analyzes your work situation and learns what your professional goals are. They then create a strategy to help you achieve your targets. Throughout the process they should provide objective feedback and guide you in approaching the process strategically. Here are some of the tools and tasks a career coach may assist you with:

  • Helping you build a strong resume that reflects your work history, potential, and skills

  • Coaching for interviews and strategies for solid answers built around your resume and the target job

  • Defining your career goals

  • Creating a plan for job searching

  • Improving networking strategies and skills

  • Developing strategies for negotiating raises or promotions

  • Assessing why you’re not getting where you want to go

What is Relationship Coaching?

Relationship coaching is a life coaching specialization that helps people find greater fulfillment in their personal relationships.  A relationship coach is someone who supports individuals and couples in learning vital skills for relating to others such as communication, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution.  A relationship coach can help you set relationship goals, understand your current partnership, prepare for marriage, thrive inside your existing marriage, grieve a lost loved-one, or take your long-term romance to the next level.  Relationship coaches typically have experience and training in various relationship dynamics, from romantic relationships to family relations and friendships.  For some relationship coaches, it is not necessary to work with both partners in a relationship.  Coaching helps clients let go of their own painful thoughts and create their own relationship vision.  This means clients can enjoy a satisfying relationship even without their partner's participation in the coaching process.  Relationship coaches also work with people who are not yet in a relationship.  They will work with singles who have a history of troubled relationships, who have difficulty knowing what they want in a relationship or just want to stay on track with their plan to find a deeper connection with someone.  Other coaches meet with both partners and teach communication, conflict resolution and other coaching tools needed by the couple.

Is Relationship Coaching the Same as "Couples Therapy?"

Relationship coaching is not "couples therapy," just as life coaching is not psychotherapy. If therapists are surgeons, coaches are personal trainers.  If you're having relationship troubles, a coach might help you clear up your thinking, get some perspective or set inspiring new goals.  However, in the case of problems with debilitating mental illness, couples therapy would be recommended over a relationship coach.  Likewise, if there are many unhealed childhood wounds, a coach will likely refer you to a therapist who specializes in working with past trauma.  Unlike therapy, relationship coaching rarely requires you to re-tell your childhood story, but it can help you find peace with where you are.  The biggest issues couples face are around differences in beliefs and needs around money, sex, and child-rearing. While a relationship coach and a marriage coach have very similar approaches to these, couple’s therapy is quite different.  In couple’s therapy, you are limited to only talking through issues.  Many therapists do not have any experiential tools to offer.  Relationship coaching for couples, however – especially if it is somatically-based or experiential – offers tactile practices that help overcome challenging dynamics in a relationship. They can also work to intensify intimacy and attachment, and provide tools for relationship repair during challenging times. 

What is Enneagram Coaching?

Enneagram based coaching is a type of life coaching that utilizes the Enneagram for self-discovery, personal growth, and transformation.  The Enneagram model is the perfect way to get started making major improvements to how you think, feel, and respond to your world.  By knowing why, you do what you do you can begin making better choices and unlock your fill potential.  Enneagram coaching is an invaluable tool for your own professional and personal growth.     Discovering your Enneagram type and learning your style opens many doors for:

  • self-knowledge and personal development

  • understanding and appreciating others

  • communicating effectively

  • increasing emotional and social intelligence

  • fostering authentic leadership

  • resolving conflict

  • engagement and motivation

  • transparency and authenticity

  • compassion, and deepened spirituality

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram (Ennea=9, Gram=Diagram) is simply a map (GPS) for self-discovery and personal growth based on 9 basic personality types.  The Enneagram accurately and clearly describes why you think, feel and behave in particular ways based upon your core fears and core desires.  The Enneagram is an insightful tool used to discover your personality type.  While personality tests can be fun and informative and offer some value, most of them focus on external behaviors. They don’t give people the tools needed to transform their inner self. The Enneagram works differently. It reveals not what a person does, but why they do it.  The Enneagram offers a unique model of nine ways of being in the world.  It is a key that opens the door to a deep understanding of yourself and the patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting.  This system provides a thorough foundation for understanding why people behave the way that they do.  It is more focused though on the why than the what.  The power of the Enneagram is in its ability to harness and transform self-limiting behaviors into life-enhancing personal empowerment.  The gift of the Enneagram is that through self-discovery, one can create and sustain meaningful and lasting relationships with others, God and themselves.  The Enneagram personality system is considered one of the most accurate and useful systems available to help develop both emotional and social intelligence; specifically, in the areas of:

  • Communication

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Coaching

  • Leadership Development

  • Team Coherence

  • Strategic Planning

  • Organizational culture change