Getting counseling support is no easy decision to make. There are a lot of things to think about, such as, will the counselor be a good fit, will the counseling be too hard, will the counseling be too expensive, or even, will the counseling actually help?
And, to make things harder, usually a person is trying to figure all of this out when things have really deteriorated. Maybe there are different people telling you different things about how to make things better. It can all be very confusing and stressful!
This page is here to help. As you scroll down, you can read more about what counseling psychotherapy is and how it works, what it costs, how long it can go for, as well as some other information to help inform you. You can also email me at any time and I can try to answer other questions you may have.
Counseling Psychotherapy is an important process that attempts to help individuals, couples and/or families work through and resolve difficult life problems that are intrapsychic (inside you) and inter-relational (between you and another).
We are all generally trying to master things that can easily spiral out of control, and to find peace and success and connection with our key loved ones, especially in the "spiral." It can be enormously helpful to not have to figure all of this out alone, and to have a kind, competent listener help to get it "sorted out" and to provide some guidance and tools that have been shown to help with the issues being presented. While counseling support may not always alleviate all symptoms, and for a time, may even deepen distress, it can lead to much deeper levels of self-awareness, deeper connections with others and a softening of the self-defeating ways that keep people stuck.
With a professional counselor in private practice, the length of your counseling treatment can vary greatly depending on the nature of the presenting problems as well as the goals of the client(s). Typically, for a couple doing EFT work with a therapist, the course of treatment might be completed within 8-30 sessions; however, this process often takes longer if the relational issues are complex. Individual counseling work that is not short-term goal focused or behaviorally focused is much more open.
The best counselors will work hard to create an atmosphere of safety, will protect the privacy and dignity of their clients and will have received counseling for themselves. They will participate in ongoing training and supervision for themselves as they grow their expertise in a particular area or specialty, and will operate within the ethical boundaries of their affiliated professional organization (such as AACC or ICEEFT).
There are many different models of counseling; each model has its own strengths and limitations. Which model a counselor will employ in your treatment will vary depending on the presenting problems and the training of the Counselor. On this website, you find me referencing two therapeutic models, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). To read more about EFT, go to the EFT button of this website.
Counseling fees can vary widely and are based on the degree of expertise of the counselor and the geographical location. Counseling fees for a 50-60 minute counseling session in the suburban Philadelphia area often range from $100 - $200 for licensed clinicians in private practice.
If you have checked out the EFT button on this website and want to know more, you can see videos from Sue Johnson on her website: drsuejohnson.com, or read from her books, Created For Connection (written with Kenny Sanderfer), or Love Sense to learn more about the very important concept known as "Attachment," and EFT.
There are many great resources available that can help you if you think that you may be experiencing mood or anxiety symptoms, or if you suspect this to be the case for a loved one. One of best things for people with anxiety and/or depression symptoms is to begin a gentle conversation with a skilled listener about the experience and to hear about ways that others have found that really help. With care and time, it is possible to shift into a much healthier and more meaningful life.
Traumatic experiences and living with trauma are one of the most painful and difficult things that a person can face. If you think that you might be experiencing painful symptoms related to trauma and/or loss, consider having a session to begin the journey towards a better life.
If you suspect that you may have an addiction, whether to alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, food or other, the best place to start is to reach out for help. Your primary care physician is a great person to consult. There are also counselors who specialize in the treatment of addictions that can help. I work with these addictions specialists and other mentors to provide a team approach. I also recommend family members begin to educate themselves and reach out to local groups like Al Anon. Family members will need to educate themselves on things like healthy boundary-setting.
For any questions regarding medications, best practice is to start with your primary care physician. It can also be helpful to consult with a psychiatrist, which is a medical doctor who specializes in the use of medications to treat psychiatric conditions. You can call your health insurer to get a list of psychiatry providers in your area.
Many counselors in private practice such as myself do not take insurance directly, which means that the client is responsible for the counseling fee at the time of service. If you have behavioral health coverage as part of your health insurance, find out if there is some coverage allowance for "out of network providers." You may be able to get some of the counseling fee back. Inquire about this when you set up your appointment.