FAQ About Mental Health Counseling
Do I really need therapy? I usually manage my own problems.
Everybody faces challenging circumstances in life and although clients may have effectively found their way through difficulties in the past, seeking counseling allows them to work in collaboration with the therapist while maintaining control of their life. So, looking for extra support when needed it may mean having enough self-awareness to recognize the need of a helping hand, which is something to value.
Those seeking psychotherapy or other healing modalities are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and work towards making changes. Therapy provides benefits and support by giving the tools necessary to avoid triggers and re-direct damaging patterns. Therapy can also provide encouragement and help with skills to get through challenging situations.
How can therapy help me?
Deciding to see a therapist is an individual choice. Therapy or other healing modalities are best suited to those who are interested in getting the most out of their lives by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards changes in their lives.
There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues or problems with anxiety, or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as the loss of a loved one, or the result of a traumatic event. Our therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for life challenges. They can also offer problem-solving skills, enhanced coping strategies as well as a fresh perspective on difficult problems, or point a client in the direction of a solution.
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to client’s specific goals. During a first session, the therapist will go over how a counseling session works, discussing confidentiality and its limitations and other important information related to the counseling practice. The therapist will ask certain questions about clients’ live. This information helps to make an initial assessment of the client’s situation. Some of these questions include asking the reasons behind seeking therapy, and the client’s personal history and current circumstances. While the client will receive an initial diagnosis at the end of the first visit, it is more likely that an official diagnosis will take a few more sessions.
It is important to understand that getting more results from therapy will result if a client actively participates in the process. The therapist will not “fix” a client’s problems, as the client is the expert regarding his or her life. Therapy is collaboration; the ultimate purpose of therapy is to help clients apply what they learn in these sessions to real life. Therapists can do their jobs more effectively if answering questions openly and honestly. Beyond the work a client does in therapy sessions, the therapist may suggest some things a client can do outside of therapy to reinforce progress, such as reading an applicable book, journaling on specific topics, observing particular behaviors, or taking action on goals. Here are some things to expect from therapy:
-Compassion, respect and understanding
-A non-judgmental environment
-Viewpoints to comprehend persistent patterns and related feelings
-Effective strategies to make positive changes
-Evidence-based approaches along with practical guidance
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with a medical doctor can determine what’s best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Therapy addresses the cause of distress and the behavior patterns that curb progress. A client can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of wellbeing with an integrative approach to wellness.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. Confidentiality is both an ethical and professional value that we hold with extremely high regard. We abide by HIPPA and the North Carolina privacy policies as stated in the North Carolina Notice Form (Notice of Licensed Professional Counselors' Policies and Practices to Protect the Privacy of Your Health Information).No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. For more information, please visit Helpful Forms.
However, there are some exceptions to the rules mandated by law. Exceptions include:
-Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
-If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the police.
-If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may be taken.