Serenity Family Counseling Services - Starting Where You Are
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
 
How can counseling help me?
 
There are several benefits available from participating in counseling. Counselors 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 use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include: 
 
•Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
 
•Developing skills for improving your relationships
 
•Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
 
•Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
 
•Managing anger, grief,depression, and other emotional pressures
 
•Improving communications andlistening skills
 
•Changing old behavior patternsand developing new ones
 
•Discovering new ways to solveproblems in your family or marriage
 
•Improving your self-esteem andboosting self-confidence
 
 Do I really need counseling?  I can usually handle my problems.  
 
Everyone goes through challengingsituations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through otherdifficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra supportwhen you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awarenessto realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. Youare taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making acommitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Counseling provideslong-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoidtriggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
 
 Why do people go to counseling and how do I know if it is right for me?
 
 People have many differentmotivations for coming to psychotherapy.  Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment,divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a rangeof other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions,relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Therapy can help provide some much neededencouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are readyto learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals inlife.   In short, people seekingpsychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to makechanges in their lives.
 
 What is counseling like?
 
 Because each person has differentissues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on theindividual.  In general, you can expectto discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal historyrelevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) fromthe previous therapy session.  Dependingon your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, orlonger-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for morepersonal development.  Either way, it ismost common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly). 
 
It is important to understandthat you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapyis to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapysessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapyto support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling onspecific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives,are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.   
 
What about Medication vs. Psychotherapy?  
 
It is well established that thelong-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they causecannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom,therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curbour progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense ofwell-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your medical doctor you candetermine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medicationand therapy is the right course of action.
 
 Do you take insurance,and how does that work?
 
 We are accepting new clients who have Anthem, Aetna, Cofinity, or Value Options insurance policies, and who are seeking individual counseling for a mental health related problem. There is always the option to self-pay.
 
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them.  Check your coverage carefully andmake sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
 
•What are my mental health benefits?
 
•What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
 
•How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
 
•How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
 
•Is prior authorization required prior to seeking outpatient counseling?
 
 
Are my therapy sessions confidential?
 
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office.   Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone.  This is called “Informed Consent”.  Sometimes however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (you’re your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
 
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations: 
 
* Suspected past or present abuseor neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
 
 * If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harminghim/herself or has threated to harm another person
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