Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve included some common questions and answers below. If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to use the contact form and we will get back to you promptly.
What is counseling anyway?
Counseling is the process of building rapport with a client and identifying areas of struggle or challenges they are facing. In the process of treatment, the therapist may teach you new skills, practice techniques for coping, assist in determining goals or direction, identify your strengths and desires, in addition to motivate and support you through the change process. Maladaptive behaviors and unproductive patterns will be identified and you will learn new ways to cope, set healthy boundaries with yourself and others, have life balance, be resilient, learn about the triggers to your symptoms and how to prevent them or manage them successfully to take control of your journey.
Many issues can bring you to counseling, a life transition, unexpected or unwanted event, unwanted symptoms, or a desire to have thing be different in your life. The counselor will draw from years of schooling, continuing education, years of experience working with individuals who may have faced the same or similar issues you are and determine the best treatment approach specific to you, your issues, strengths, and goals.
Who are counselors, therapist…whatever they’re called?
Counselors can also be called therapists, psychotherapists, or mental health clinicians. There are several Master’s level degrees you can obtain to work in this field and they vary in their focus and academic requirements, but are all nearly the same. You could have a Masters in Social Work (MSW), Masters in Counseling (LPC), PhD in Psychology, or be a Psychiatrist. A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in treatment of mental health disorders by prescribing the medication needed to treat them. In our area, there are so few Psychiatrist that they do not provide therapy services directly.
How do I find the right one?
You may ask how to find the right therapist for you? The “right” therapist is the one you feel comfortable talking to and feel a connection to. A counselor may have years of education, years of experience and specialize in your specific area of concern, but if you do not like the person or feel that you can open up without feeling judged, then nothing else matters. Multiple studies have been published demonstrating that the relationship between the therapist and the client is the most significant factor contributing to progress in treatment.
This one is too hot. This one is too cold. How do I find the one who is just right?
I tell my clients that if I am not the right fit for any reason, that is ok. I want my clients to get their needs met and to get the help they are seeking. If they do not feel comfortable coming to therapy, they are not going to want to come. Think about that teacher you had that you didn’t like. You didn’t want to go to class, didn’t enjoy it, and didn’t care to learn. But the teacher you connected with and seemed to understand you, you loved the class, tried harder to get better grades, and looked forward to going. I am happy to facilitate a transfer to another provider for any reason that one is needed. That transfer may be to another provider at Journey Counseling Center, or another provider in the community, whoever I believe would be in your best interests to see.
Why do people go to therapy?
Why therapy? Because everyone struggle and experiences life challenges that are overwhelming, even crippling. For years, I have told my clients that everyone needs help and that I could diagnose everyone in the world with some kind of disorder. Even Mary Poppins could have sought treatment for her delusions, OCD behaviors, and the high level of stress she must have experienced with feeling a need to be “practically perfect in every way.” That is some pressure!
Counseling can provide you a trusted, professional who truly cares for you without their own agenda. Counseling is confidential unlike speaking to a family member who could bring up any struggle or family conflict at next year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Therapy can help you reach your true potential and function at the optimal level to be at peace with your past, have passion and joy in your present, and excitement and goals for your future!
What are the exceptions to Confidentiality?
If there is suspected child or elder abuse, I am required by law to report it to authorities.
If you are at serious risk of harm, I have to ensure your safety and there are many ways that can be done depending on the circumstances.
If you tell me you intent to inflict serious harm on others, legally I have to warn them of harm.
So basically, I just have to protect people!
How does this whole thing work?
Counseling generally is provided in 55 minute sessions and would initially start with weekly appointments. After progress is seen and the client is able to notice the reduction in some symptoms, appointments are usually scheduled for every other week and maintained at that level until a good deal of progress is made. As goals are achieved and change is well underway, appointments may move to every three or four weeks for a maintenance level of treatment before discharge.
Can I bring my friends or family?
The client is in charge of therapy and can set the pace, schedule the appointments, and is welcome to bring any support person to their sessions that they deem helpful in their treatment. It is not recommended that young children attend with an adult client as “little corn have big ears” and it is often not appropriate for children to hear the content of session.
How do I schedule?
To schedule with Samantha email her at: email@example.com
To schedule with Michelle email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call the office directly at 989-778-2323
What if I need to cancel or reschedule?
There are reasons you may need to reschedule your appointment. As long as you provide 24 hour notice, you will not be charged a no show fee. If it is late notice, you will be charged a $50 fee.
What should I do to prepare for my session?
Be sure to bring insurance cards, form of ID, and any insurance information you were given for an Employee Assistance Program. Payment is required at time of service, so be prepared for that as well. You can complete forms needed for the first session by going through the link to the patient portal you will receive from your therapist.
I’m too far. What do I do?
Counseling is provided in the office or by technology assisted counseling via telephone or video conferencing. These services are often covered by insurance and may have different rates and copay coverage. Please contact your insurance to inquire about coverage if interested in Telehealth Services.