How can counseling help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling or therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced managing 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. Christian counseling, in particular, can provide biblical perspectives that can lead to spiritual breakthrough and eternal wellness. 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 deeper sense of God, greater self-awareness, and better understanding of purpose, vision and values
  • Developing skills for improving relationships
  • Finding resolution to burdensome issues and concerns
  • Learning effective ways to address stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Overcoming insecurity and gaining new confidence

Do I really need therapy? I usually handle my problems privately.

Life has a way of challenging everyone. While navigating difficulties can be a solo act, it is often very beneficial to invite the help of an objective professional.

Therapy is ideally for people with enough self-awareness to recognize when they could benefit from assistance. This is not a sign of weakness, but actually something to be admired. Realizing the current circumstance and taking responsibility to change for the better is the first step for success. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support while offering the tools needed to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome life’s challenges.

What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. Counseling strategy generally consist of discussing current scenarios and personal history related to the problem(s). There is also time afforded to reflect on learnings and any new insights that are gained. And of course, there is celebration over progress being made. Therapy can be short term for specific issues or longer-term for problems that require more comprehensive solutions. Either way, therapy is commonly scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for the sake of consistency and momentum.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?

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. Instead of just treating the symptom, psychotherapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. Instead of solely relying on behavioral science, Christian counseling goes beyond physical and psychological considerations and addresses the spiritual aspects of wellness. This holistic approach can be simplified by thinking of it in terms of a common 3-legged stool. In order for the stool to provide stability all three legs must be of equal length and all three legs must be able support their rightful share of the load. Sometimes medication is warranted in order to help replenish a physiological deficiency that that impacts the psyche. However, Christian counseling offers a course of action that addresses the full personhood of a client; body, soul and spirit. This 3-in-1 pattern is seen throughout the Bible. God is 3-in-1 (Matthew 3:13-17) and man, made in the image of God is 3-in-1 (1Thessalonians 5:23).

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

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 and make 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 approval required from my primary care physician?

Does what we talk about in therapy remain 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 a 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 (E.g. your physician, psychiatrist, etc.), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to break confidentiality in the following situations:
  • Suspected past or present abuse or 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 harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.