Frequently Asked Questions
The relationship between you and your therapist is important. Having the support of a professional that you can feel comfortable with and supported by is essential to your change process. In the very first session, we will identify your goals and begin to help you create shifts in your life. Most people report that they start to feel better after the very first session.
What exactly is counseling?
Counseling is a goal-based collaborative process between a mental health counselor, clinical social worker, or psychologist and an individual, couple or family and involves helping people make needed changes in ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. It is a non-judgmental process with a supportive counselor working with a client in telling his or her story, setting viable goals, and developing strategies and plans necessary to accomplish these goals.
What is online therapy?
Online counseling is known as E-counseling, E-therapy, Teletherapy, Telebehavioral health, Telemental health and Cyber counseling. The fact that there are so many references with names that are not clear can be confusing. Thus, references can refer to text messaging, email, telephone calls, chat rooms, and live video conversations.
Can I participate in counseling online?
Yes, online therapy takes place through a live, video connection using the internet. You get the same treatment and support you would in person, at your convenience. You can access it from anywhere, using whatever device you wish as long as you have a solid internet connection. The software used is legally required to be encrypted so it is completely private and HIPAA compliant, ensuring confidentiality.
What kind of therapist can provide counseling online?
To provide virtual counseling, a therapist should be licensed by the client’s state of residence. This means that the therapist could physically be in another state but can legally provide therapy to you if they are licensed in the state where you, the client, live. Typical licensed, mental health professionals include clinical social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and clinical psychologists. Kristine is licensed in Michigan and Florida as a clinical social worker and can legally provide therapy to clients living in those states.
What is talk therapy?
Talk therapy is what most people think of as traditional counseling. Talk therapy refers to any of the various forms of psychotherapy where clients use verbal communication to discuss problems and solutions with a licensed therapist (LCSW, LMFT, LMHC or Psychologist). While there are varied forms of talk therapy, they all consist of the therapist employing active listening and other techniques to help the client move toward resolution of emotional issues. Common examples include cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, narrative therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and sex therapy. In contrast, examples of methods of therapy that aren’t focused on talking include art therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement and Desensitization), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or tapping, and equine assisted psychotherapy.
How long is a counseling session?
Each session is one hour in length.
Where does counseling take place?
How long do I need to be in therapy?
For some people the process takes a small amount of time, in some cases as little as one or two sessions; for others, the process may last longer.
The frequency of therapy sessions varies depending on your particular needs and desires, but we will typically meet weekly or bi-weekly for hour-long sessions. Initially, it may be difficult to predict how many sessions will be needed, so we will collaboratively discuss from session to session what the next steps are and how often therapy sessions will occur. As the client, you may request an increase or decrease to frequency or exercise the right to end treatment at any time, but I request that you communicate this desire directly to me.
How do I know what kind of counselor I need?
Most therapists treat common mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and relationship difficulties. Many also specialize in particular areas of mental health. Often our mental health issues are complex and include a need to address multiple issues. A good way to determine what kind of counselor you need is to identify what issue or issues you most want to change and then search for a therapist that treats that type of issue.
For example, if you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety, any licensed social worker, counselor or psychologist would be able to help you. Or you could choose to look for a therapist that specializes in anxiety disorders.
Maybe you are experiencing symptoms as a result of a traumatic experience. Many different experiences constitute actual trauma, resulting in impairments in functioning that can be constant but managed or manifesting as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Regardless of the severity, a trauma therapist who uses a trauma-informed treatment approach with evidence-based modalities would be a best choice.
Perhaps you and your partner are struggling with issues related to sex. If the root issue is related to communication issues then most any therapist that treats couples could help. Or if you personally could benefit from improving your own communication skills and boundaries, individual therapy would be beneficial. If the issue is about concerns about sexual desire or arousal, impulsive or compulsive sexual behavior then a sex therapist would be trained to assist you in improving this area of your life.
Remember, you are the client! So finding a good therapist that you feel comfortable with, as well as one with the relevant expertise, is important. A therapist who offers a free consultation shows their investment in making sure you get the treatment you deserve.
What types of professionals provide counseling for mental health?
Licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health counselors and licensed clinical psychologists are all trained to provide mental health counseling. They are required to complete relevant coursework for an advanced degree, complete supervised internships and on-the-job work experience prior to qualifying to take a licensure exam to be licensed by the state in which they practice. Additionally, they must complete regular continuing education in order to stay current on best practices in the mental health field.