In Crisis? Dial or Text 988

Client Portal





Frequently Asked Questions
How can counseling help me?

Counseling can provide a supportive and non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It can help you gain a better understanding of yourself, develop healthier coping strategies, and make positive changes in your life. By working collaboratively with a counselor, you can gain insights, learn new skills, and develop the tools necessary to navigate challenges more effectively. Counseling can also enhance self-esteem, improve relationships, and promote personal growth and self-discovery.

What should I expect during my first counseling session?

During your first counseling session, we will spend time getting to know each other and building a therapeutic relationship. I will ask you some questions about your background, current concerns, and what you hope to achieve through counseling. We’ll discuss your goals and expectations, as well as any previous experiences you may have had with counseling or therapy. It’s an opportunity for you to express yourself and for me to understand your unique needs. Together, we will create a plan for future sessions based on your specific circumstances.

How long will the counseling process take?

The length of the counseling process varies depending on the individual and the nature of the concerns being addressed. Some people find that they make progress in a relatively short period, while others may benefit from longer-term counseling. The duration of counseling will be determined by your goals, the complexity of the issues you’re facing, and your personal readiness for change. We will regularly evaluate your progress together and make adjustments to the treatment plan as needed.

What is the difference between counseling and therapy?

Counseling and therapy are often used interchangeably, and the distinction between them can vary depending on the context. Generally, counseling tends to focus on specific issues or challenges, such as relationship difficulties, career concerns, or stress management. It often takes a shorter-term approach and is more solution-focused.

Therapy, on the other hand, tends to involve a deeper exploration of psychological and emotional patterns and may address more complex or longstanding issues. It often takes a longer-term approach and can involve a broader range of therapeutic modalities. However, it’s important to note that the specific terminology and practices can differ among professionals and theoretical orientations.

How do I know if counseling is right for me?

Deciding to pursue counseling is a personal choice, and there are no definitive criteria for determining if it’s right for you. However, if you’re experiencing emotional distress, facing significant life challenges, or feeling stuck in patterns that are negatively impacting your well-being, counseling can be a beneficial option. It’s important to have a willingness to engage in self-reflection, a desire for personal growth, and a readiness to actively participate in the counseling process. Ultimately, the decision to seek counseling should be based on your own needs and comfort level.

Please keep in mind that these answers are general in nature and may vary depending on the specific counselor and therapeutic approach.

What types of issues can be addressed through counseling?

Counseling can address a wide range of issues. Here are some common concerns that people seek counseling for:

1. Mental health issues: Counseling can be helpful in addressing conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other mental health challenges.

2. Relationship difficulties: Counseling can provide support and guidance for individuals and couples dealing with relationship conflicts, communication problems, infidelity, trust issues, and other interpersonal challenges.

3. Life transitions: Counseling can assist individuals in navigating major life transitions such as career changes, divorce or separation, retirement, relocation, and adjusting to new roles or responsibilities.

4. Stress management: Counseling can help individuals develop effective coping strategies to manage stress, build resilience, and improve overall well-being.

5. Grief and loss: Counseling can provide a supportive space for individuals experiencing grief and loss due to the death of a loved one, a significant life change, or the loss of a relationship.

6. Self-esteem and self-confidence: Counseling can help individuals enhance their self-esteem, build self-confidence, and develop a positive self-image.

7. Trauma and abuse: Counseling can assist individuals in processing and healing from traumatic experiences, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, accidents, or witnessing traumatic events.

8. Addictions and substance abuse: Counseling can be beneficial for individuals struggling with substance abuse or addiction issues, providing support, coping strategies, and tools for recovery.

9. Anger management: Counseling can help individuals learn healthy ways to express and manage anger, develop effective communication skills, and improve relationships.

10. Personal growth and self-exploration: Counseling can support individuals in exploring their values, beliefs, and goals, fostering personal growth, self-awareness, and a greater sense of fulfillment.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and counselors are trained to work with a variety of concerns. If you’re unsure whether counseling can address your specific issue, it’s always a good idea to reach out to a counselor and discuss your needs. They can help determine if counseling is an appropriate option for you or refer you to other resources if necessary.

How often will I need to attend counseling sessions?

The frequency of counseling sessions can vary depending on several factors, including the nature of the issues being addressed, your specific needs, and the treatment plan we develop together. Generally, in the early stages of counseling, weekly sessions are often recommended to establish a therapeutic rhythm and build momentum.

As you progress in therapy and start achieving your goals, the frequency of sessions may be adjusted. Some individuals may transition to biweekly or monthly sessions as they gain more insight, develop coping skills, and feel more confident in applying what they’ve learned outside of therapy. Others may benefit from more regular ongoing support and choose to continue with weekly sessions for a longer duration.

Ultimately, the frequency of counseling sessions will be a collaborative decision between you and your counselor. It will depend on your progress, the intensity of the issues you’re working on, and your personal preferences and availability. It’s important to have open communication with your counselor about your needs and any changes in your circumstances that may impact the frequency of sessions.

It’s worth noting that counseling is a flexible process, and adjustments can be made along the way to ensure it meets your evolving needs. The goal is to provide you with the appropriate level of support and guidance throughout your therapeutic journey.

Is counseling confidential?

Confidentiality is a fundamental aspect of the counseling relationship, and counselors are ethically and legally bound to protect your privacy. As a counselor, I prioritize confidentiality and take steps to ensure that your personal information and the content of our sessions remain confidential.

Here are some key points about confidentiality in counseling:

1. Legal and ethical obligations: Counselors are bound by professional codes of ethics and, in many jurisdictions, by laws that protect client confidentiality. These regulations require counselors to maintain the privacy of their clients and keep their information confidential.

2. Limits to confidentiality: While counseling is generally confidential, there are certain limits to confidentiality that counselors must adhere to. These limits typically involve situations where there is a risk of harm to you or others, child or elder abuse, or when a court order requires the disclosure of information. Your counselor will discuss these limits with you at the beginning of therapy, so you have a clear understanding of what information may need to be disclosed.

3. Informed consent: Your counselor will discuss the limits of confidentiality and obtain your informed consent before beginning therapy. This means you will have a comprehensive understanding of how confidentiality works and any exceptions to it.

4. Security of information: Counselors take appropriate measures to protect the security of your personal information. This includes keeping session notes and records securely and ensuring that electronic systems used for storing information are encrypted and password-protected.

It’s important to note that confidentiality also extends to other professionals involved in your care within legal and ethical boundaries. For instance, if your counselor is part of a team or clinic, they may consult with other professionals to enhance the quality of your treatment, but they will do so while safeguarding your privacy.

If you have any concerns about confidentiality or questions about how your information will be handled, I encourage you to openly discuss them with your counselor. Building trust and feeling secure in the therapeutic relationship is vital for successful counseling.

How do I find the right counselor for me?

Finding the right counselor for you is crucial to the success of your therapeutic journey. Here are some steps you can take to find a counselor who is a good fit for your needs:

1. Identify your needs: Clarify your reasons for seeking counseling and the specific areas or issues you would like to address. Consider the type of support you are looking for and the approach or therapeutic modality that may resonate with you.

2. Seek referrals: Ask trusted individuals, such as friends, family members, or healthcare professionals, if they can recommend a counselor. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights and firsthand experiences.

3. Research online directories: Utilize online directories or mental health platforms that allow you to search for counselors based on your location, specific concerns, and preferences. Read profiles, bios, and client reviews to gather initial information.

4. Check credentials and specialties: Verify the credentials and qualifications of the counselors you are considering. Look for licensed professionals who have appropriate training and experience in the areas you want to address. Consider their specialties, as some counselors have expertise in specific issues or populations.

5. Schedule consultations: Many counselors offer initial consultations or brief phone calls to discuss your needs and determine if there is a good fit. Take advantage of these opportunities to ask questions, share your concerns, and get a sense of the counselor’s approach, communication style, and personality.

6. Consider therapeutic approach: Explore different therapeutic approaches or modalities to determine what aligns with your preferences and values. For example, you may prefer cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, or solution-focused brief therapy. The counselor’s approach should resonate with you and offer a path toward achieving your goals.

7. Trust your instincts: Pay attention to your gut feeling during the consultation or initial sessions. Consider whether you feel comfortable, understood, and supported by the counselor. Trusting your instincts can be an important factor in choosing the right counselor for you.

8. Discuss logistics: Inquire about practical considerations such as fees, insurance coverage, availability, and session duration. Ensure that the counselor’s logistical aspects align with your needs and preferences.

Remember, finding the right counselor may involve some trial and error. It’s okay to switch counselors if you feel that the fit is not optimal after a few sessions. The therapeutic relationship is a collaborative one, and it’s important that you feel safe, understood, and supported throughout the counseling process.

What are the costs associated with counseling?

The costs associated with counseling can vary depending on several factors, including the counselor’s location, credentials, experience, and the type of practice they have (private practice, community clinic, agency, etc.). Here are some common considerations regarding the costs of counseling:

1. Fees: Counselors typically charge fees for their services, which can vary widely. Private practitioners often set their own rates based on factors such as their expertise, demand, and geographic location. It’s important to inquire about the counselor’s fee structure during your initial consultation or when contacting their office.

2. Insurance coverage: Some counselors accept health insurance, which can help offset the cost of sessions. If you have health insurance, you can contact your insurance provider to inquire about mental health coverage and obtain a list of in-network counselors. Keep in mind that coverage for counseling services can vary, so it’s essential to understand your specific plan’s benefits, copayments, deductibles, and any limitations on the number of sessions covered.

3. Sliding scale or reduced fees: In certain cases, counselors may offer a sliding scale or reduced fees for individuals with financial constraints. Sliding scale fees are based on your income and ability to pay, making counseling more affordable and accessible. It’s worth discussing this option with potential counselors if it’s something you require.

4. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): Some employers offer Employee Assistance Programs that include counseling services as a benefit. EAPs provide short-term counseling support to employees and their families, usually at no cost or a reduced fee. Check with your employer’s Human Resources department to see if this benefit is available to you.

5. Community clinics and non-profit organizations: There are community clinics, non-profit organizations, and counseling centers that offer counseling services at reduced rates or on a sliding scale. These options can be more affordable for individuals with limited financial resources.

6. Online counseling platforms: Online counseling platforms have emerged as a convenient and accessible option for counseling. They often have subscription plans or per-session fees that can vary. It’s essential to research and compare the costs and services of different platforms before choosing one.

When considering the costs of counseling, it’s important to weigh the value of the support and potential benefits to your overall well-being. Many individuals find that the investment in counseling is worthwhile and brings about positive and lasting changes in their lives. If the cost of counseling is a concern for you, don’t hesitate to discuss it openly with potential counselors. They may be able to provide you with options or referrals to help you find more affordable resources.

What insurance do you take?

United Health

Will I be prescribed medication during counseling?

As a counselor, I do not have the authority to prescribe medication. In most cases, counselors focus on providing talk therapy and counseling interventions to support your emotional well-being, personal growth, and problem-solving skills.

However, it’s important to note that if during the course of counseling it becomes apparent that you may benefit from medication as part of your treatment plan, I may refer you to a psychiatrist or other qualified medical professional. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health and have the authority to prescribe medication. They can evaluate your symptoms, diagnose any potential mental health conditions, and determine if medication is appropriate for you.

Collaboration between counselors and psychiatrists or other medical professionals is not uncommon. In some cases, a combination of counseling and medication can be an effective approach to address mental health concerns. If medication is recommended, the psychiatrist will discuss the potential benefits, side effects, and other relevant information with you.

It’s important to communicate openly with your counselor about any concerns you may have regarding medication or your preferences for treatment. They can provide guidance, help you explore options, and work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that aligns with your needs and goals.

How can I prepare for counseling sessions?

Preparing for counseling sessions can help you make the most of your therapeutic experience. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare:

1. Reflect on your goals: Take some time to reflect on the goals you want to achieve through counseling. What specific concerns or issues would you like to address? Having clarity on what you hope to work on can help guide the focus of your sessions.

2. Gather relevant information: If there are any specific events, situations, or patterns you want to discuss, consider jotting down notes or keeping a journal to help you remember important details. This can be helpful in providing context and aiding your counselor in understanding your experiences.

3. Be open and honest: Counseling is most effective when there is open and honest communication between you and your counselor. During sessions, strive to be authentic and share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences openly. This will help your counselor gain a deeper understanding of your unique situation and guide the therapeutic process effectively.

4. Prepare questions or topics: If you have specific questions or topics you would like to discuss, write them down and bring them to your sessions. This can help you stay focused and ensure that important matters are addressed.

5. Manage logistics: Prior to your sessions, make sure you know the time, date, and location (in-person or virtual) of your appointment. If you are attending virtual sessions, ensure that you have a reliable internet connection and a private space where you feel comfortable and can engage in therapy without distractions.

6. Emotional self-care: Engage in self-care activities before and after your sessions to help support your emotional well-being. This can include activities such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in hobbies, spending time in nature, or engaging in activities that bring you joy.

7. Keep an open mind: Counseling is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Approach your sessions with an open mind and a willingness to explore new perspectives and ideas. Be receptive to feedback, suggestions, and guidance from your counselor.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to prepare for counseling sessions. These suggestions are meant to serve as a guide, but ultimately, it’s about finding what works best for you. Trust the process and be patient with yourself as you embark on your therapeutic journey.

Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions you might have. I would love to hear from you.

Gina Haupt

Therapist & Owner