Frequently Asked Questions
An awesome benefit of counseling sessions, or therapy, is that it not only helps you understand yourself better but it helps you understand other people. However, you get out of therapy what you are wiling to put into it. It is a collaborative relationship where both parties (therapist and client) put in a lot of work. It takes much more than coming to sessions once a week to make long term changes.
You will be expected to practice skills you are taught in session, outside of session, reading suggested articles, and/or doing self-care. If you are not willing to put in the time and energy needed, you can expect little improvement. Since big and small problems are going to come up from time to time, knowing how to deal with them in a healthy way is an essential skill. The counselors at Sage Minds Counseling are willing to put in the energy for you to have better mental health through therapy.
It can be comforting just knowing that you have a built-in support structure that you can go to once on a schedule. People are starting to open up more about their personal struggles and mental health issues because they see others that have been helped. If you think that you may have a mental health problem or need someone to talk to, we highly encourage you to get help.
When Will I Experience the Positive Results of Counseling?
Each individual’s situation is different. There is no set time frame for therapeutic services. Where as one person may see the results they are looking for in six months, it may take another person a year or longer, and that is perfectly fine. Therapy is not a race. After a few sessions, a treatment plan is composed that is individual to your needs. This will serve as a “road map” of our journey together. It will help us “stay on track” so we can meet your goals as efficiently as possible.
Here are some factors that can impact your experience:
- How much engagement, participation, effort, and commitment you bring with you to each session and when you are not with us.
- The nature of your symptoms, including the severity and quantity, and how long you have been experiencing them
- Your resilience to working through issues, problems, concerns, and the stressors in your life
- Support from family and friends that want to see you succeed and have better mental and physical health
- Patterns in your family of origin (our pasts and where we come from matter)
- Your willingness to be open and honest with your therapist about what's going on in your life and how you are progressing
You will begin by meeting with your counselor on a weekly basis. This is the most effective way for developing a therapeutic counseling rhythm. Therapy sessions are scheduled on a weekly basis as therapy works best when there are consistent sessions that allow for growth and change to take place. Over time, when goals start being met and substantial growth is shown, we will discuss bi-weekly appointments. The end goal of therapy is discharge. When that time nears, you will be an active participant in that conversation.
Weekly sessions are super helpful in the following situations:
- you are working on building skills (coping, communication, social, mindfulness skills)
- you are working through a specific challenge that is actively showing up in your daily life (anxiety, relationship difficulties including divorce, grief, behavioral issues, depression, trauma).
- you are breaking old patterns and reprogramming thinking as well as behaviors because this requires repetition and a neutral party who can consistently support you in seeing how this is showing up in your life as well as how to shift.
Biweekly Sessions are a good option when:
- You have been in therapy some time and you are seeing progress like less anxiety, alleviated depression, decreased overwhelm, being able to practice the skills you are learning in session out in the real world.
- You are being proactive about coming to therapy so there is nothing urgent, but you are doing some inner work on yourself and you are doing work between counseling sessions that your therapist suggests or that you find supportive like meditation, journaling, establishing a fitness routine, etc.
Confidentiality is strictly maintained. The law protects confidentiality of communication between a client and therapist or counselor. No information will be disclosed without a signed consent form. There are exceptions to the law, however.
- Suspected child, dependent adult or elder abuse.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
- If a client intends to harm him or herself. The counselor will make every effort to work with an individual; however, non-cooperation may lead to additional steps to be taken.
Client confidentiality has many legal and ethical aspects. Counselors and other mental health providers are bound by professional oath, personal ethics and legal licensure to uphold confidentiality for their patients. This means that counselors are legally restrained from disclosing information that was shared within the protected client-counselor relationship. Breaking confidentiality could result in a counselor losing his or her license, so they take issues of confidentiality very seriously.
In addition, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, is a series of laws that protects people’s personal health information, including mental health records. Any medical health professional that violates HIPAA could face civil or possibly even criminal penalties. Counseling is considered a medical service and we are required to protect your information just like your other health providers.
Searching for a therapist / counselor online can be a daunting task and many people simply find the whole process of locating a therapist intimidating. Whatever your reasons for seeking care, you deserve to find a therapist who fits you. It’s important that the therapist be someone whom you trust, respect, and even like. By necessity, therapy isn’t always easy or enjoyable—it often requires facing up to painful difficulties and life patterns.
Many people wonder if their therapy is really helping them overcome their problem. It is very important that the therapist and client are a good fit and choosing the right therapist for you is a personal decision only you can make. The best way to determine if you and I will be a good fit is to book an intake session or ask to come by for a short visit to view the office and share introductions.
It can be difficult to discern from an online profile or even an initial session whether the therapist has that special something that will allow you to form a good working relationship. For this reason, it’s often useful to think of the first few sessions as a mutual assessment. During your first few sessions, you'll want to make sure you listen to your gut instinct.
Ask yourself does the environment feel warm and welcoming to you? Were you given a friendly reception? Can I see myself trusting and sharing personal and often difficult details with this person? You can also call and we can chat over the phone. Not all human beings fit well together, and that’s okay. The important thing is for you to find a therapist who fits your needs at this point in your life.
One of the greatest barriers to effective mental health treatment is the cost. Although recent regulatory reforms sought to improve access to behavioral and mental health services, many people worry about the costs of therapy. Therapy is, no doubt, a financial commitment.
I have heard therapy is expensive.
You should view therapy as an investment in your future. Make sure you’re prepared to get the MOST of your therapy experience with us. Then, your investment is worth it and you don’t stay in therapy longer than you’ve planned. Imagine having a skill set in place to help you feel confident with situations that arise in the future for the rest of your life! That is a feeling that could be priceless.
When you invest in yourself by going to therapy, and you show up, put in the work, and actively push for change in your own life, you'll experience a long-term difference and be armed with strong tools for the future that allow you to continue self-development and self-management.
As with any major cost to your budget, it is important to research your options. My self-pay rate is $125 a session. If you have BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield), your cost will vary depending on your copay, if any. We can discuss in greater detail over the phone. I do provide superbills for out-of-network insurers for you to seek reimbursement through.
Counselors at Sage Minds Counseling are available for scheduled sessions with new and existing patients. You can schedule an appointment with us by phone or by email and we will gladly assist you during the scheduling process and answer any questions you may have along the way. You can request an appointment using our online form to start the scheduling process and determine an available appointment time that best fits your schedule.
We typically respond within 24 hours Monday - Friday. You may also leave us a voicemail with your contact information and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
It’s normal to feel nervous about this first call. It may help to know what you’re in for. It’s helpful to have a goal or two in mind as you begin. For example, are you focused on processing a particular incident in your past? Are you interested in developing better communication skills? Are you eager to challenge the way you customarily think about yourself or the world around you (your inner dialogue)? Do you want to create a toolbox for coping with anxiety? Are you looking for a “safe” place to express your feelings regarding a loss?
The therapist will typically start off the call with a few questions to get to know you better, so they can make sure they're qualified to meet your needs. Here are some questions a therapist may ask you on the initial call. If possible, take a few minutes before the call to reflect on these topics, so you can have a clearer sense of your goals for therapy.
- Why are you considering therapy now?
- Have you been in therapy before?
- What are you looking for in a therapist?
- What has worked in the past, and what hasn’t?
We love answering your questions about our practice, methodology, or anything you are concerned with and are happy to discuss counseling / therapy options with you.