What can I expect from working with you?
What should I look for in a counselor?
Take time to get to know your counselor before committing to therapy with them, and try to avoid making decisions based solely on financial concerns alone. Ask the counselor what you can expect in your work with them, and for them to explain the theories they use in their work. It's important that a counselor be able to defend their practices with research and demonstrated effectiveness, as this will have implications for how well your work with them will go. We also recommend getting a sense of the time frame your counselor operates under; do they favor a brief therapy model, or long term therapy? This will impact the financial considerations for your treatment. Lastly, and we think, most importantly, take this time conversing with your therapist to get a sense of their personality, and how it matches with your own. Are they empathetic and nurturing, or deliberate and direct? Perhaps they are a mixture of the two? Do you find them to be relaxed and non directive, or more regimented and precise? Such considerations will help you to ensure that you and your therapist fit well together in the work you conduct.
What should I do if therapy with my counselor isn't helpful?
Firstly, don't hesitate to give feedback to your counselor; we want to know what is working and not working. If your counselor is ethical, they will be working as efficiently as possible with you - meaning, they won't be trying to unnecessarily stretch out the treatment, or skim past important things. Barring something unethical taking place (you feel your counselor is verbally, emotionally, or physically inappropriate, not behaving professionally, etc.) I recommend having a conversation with your counselor to see if the relationship, and the therapy, can be put onto a more productive track. Having specific things to point to (let's try doing more X, and less Y) helps. Remember, your counselor is invested in helping you to reach your goals. Working from a place of collaboration is an important means to accomplishing this!
What do counselors actually do?
How should I prepare for the first session?
What are your fees and rates?
Do you take insurance?
In all honesty, the answer to this question is a bit tricky. Insurance, and managed care in general, put a lot of constraints on the length and kind of treatment an individual can receive. It also requires providers to administer a formal diagnosis to clients receiving treatment; these labels tend to carry with them many different messages and potential stigma. Additionally, as a health provider, we're required to supply confidential information (compliant with HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, of course) to the insurance companies about your care and treatment; by avoiding the use of insurance, we are able to guarantee that your information remains completely confidential.
For this reason, we are not directly affiliated at this time with any specific insurance company. We are happy however, to support anyone who is interested in pursuing out of network coverage; in this form of claim, you would file a form with your healthcare company and receive partial-to-full reimbursement for your counseling. You get to control the sharing of information, however, which we believe is an important benefit to you. We can walk you through the process of checking coverage and filing a claim during one of our consultations, if needed.