It is important to consider that each counselor brings to the session his or her own style of meeting people. However, the goal will be for the counselor to first get an understanding of why you are coming in for counseling and secondly making every effort to get to know you in a shortened period of time. Just by understanding this, you might put yourself at ease knowing that there is no hidden agenda. The counselors will also try to get a sense of what your life is like in the present and also gather information about your past.
This first appointment is also a time for you to ask your counselor any questions you might have about the process of therapy. It really is an opportunity for you to get to know each other and consider the process of working together.
Will I get to choose my counselor?
If you request a specific counselor you will be able to set an appointment with the counselor. If that counselor is not able to see you, you may choose to wait for an appointment or be referred to another counselor at Care and Counseling. If you do not ask specifically for someone, Care and Counseling will try to match you with a counselor based on the reason for calling, time, location, and insurance needs.
This question also depends on whether you use your insurance or have a very limited schedule. Not all counselors are on insurance panels. If you plan on using your insurance, you might want to read the other questions in this FAQ section relating to insurance.
Sometimes the time you have available may not match with the time a counselor has available. If you are flexible with your schedule you increase the likelihood of being able to work with a particular counselor.
How will I know if my counselor is a good match for me?
First and most importantly does the counselor have training and experience working with someone who has your same concerns or problems. Take time to read each counselor’s description on the page marked “staff.” It will offer you some ideas about who might be best for you to work with.
If you have chosen a counselor and after meeting with him or her have questions about whether they are a good match or not, it would be important to bring that to your next session. Your counselor will help you clarify any concerns or uncertainties you may have and if you choose will assist you in finding another counselor who would better meet your needs.
Most people feel comfortable with their counselor by the end of the 1st appointment. If you don’t we ask that you meet for several times to see if you feel more of a connection. If you don’t we will be happy to transfer to another therapist.
What happens if I miss an appointment?
It is customary that you give your counselor 48 hours notice if you will be missing an appointment. Some counselors adhere to this more than others, but 48 hours notice is the policy of the agency. If this is not attended to you may be charged for the missed or cancelled session. You will discuss these arrangements with your therapist.
Is medication ever a part of counseling?
Yes. There are times a counselor may recommend a medication evaluation to help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Only MD.’s can prescribe medication. You would be referred to a psychiatrist or your medical doctor. This is not instead of your counseling, but in conjunction with it. You would continue meeting with your counselor. With your permission, the two may confer on your progress.
Medication has become commonplace in our culture. Medication is designed to decrease the symptoms you might be experiencing. Such things as anxiety, inability to sleep, and extreme sadness can be helped with medicine.
None of our counselors prescribe medicine. If you choose to be on medicine or if your counselor recommends you receive a medical evaluation, we encourage our clients to seek help from a Board Certified Psychiatrist. These professionals are medically trained physicians with a specialty in medicine relating to mental health. As noted on our website, we do have 3 consulting psychiatrists as connected to Care and Counseling.
How long do people stay on medication?
This varies greatly from person to person. Often times a patient in consultation with their psychiatrist will change medicines depending on the effect the medicine is having on the patient. This can be determined by your mood and in some cases it determined by blood work. It is important to work with your psychiatrist to be knowledgeable about the medicine you are taking and understanding the positive and negative effects it may have on you for both long and short term.