Frequently Asked Questions
Some of our clients are assigned a case manager. A case manager might help you complete forms or apply for social services. Case managers have more freedom to visit you at your home or assist you outside of our offices.
It is possible that at some point in your counseling you may be given psychological testing. The tests are often given during your first visit to the agency and at intervals during counseling. The tests we use are most often brief questionnaires that take a half-hour or less to complete. The tests help us better understand your personality and also help us measure your progress in therapy.
Many clients are assigned to group counseling. Group counseling is believed to be beneficial because participants identify with other group members with similar problems and learn from the other group members’ attempts to solve their problems. Your role as a participant in the group is to share your problems with the group and also to help the other group members. As a group member, you are expected to respect the right to confidentiality of all the group members and not discuss what goes on in group outside of the group sessions.
In one of your early counseling sessions a treatment plan will be developed. The treatment plan will identify your strengths and problem areas and will set specific goals and objectives for you and your counselor to work on. Each counseling session will focus on accomplishing these goals and objectives. If new problems occur or are discovered during counseling they may be added to your treatment plan. Counseling ends when you and your counselor agree that you have either achieved the goals you established in your treatment plan or that you have made as much progress toward achieving your goals as you can.
The process as described above is essentially the same regardless of whether you chose to seek counseling on your own or were sent here by the court, some other governmental agency, your employer, your parents or your spouse. If you are involved in couples or family counseling, the only change will be the presence of other family members during counseling sessions.
The purpose of the assessment is to assess your strengths and weaknesses and identify problems and your treatment needs.
Counseling requires your active participation. Your counselor is likely to challenge some of your beliefs and encourage you to consider other ways of behaving and thinking. You may be given homework because counseling is basically a process to help you understand yourself better and then take action to improve your life. Without your honest input in identifying your problem and your willingness to make changes in your life, it is unlikely that you will benefit much from counseling. In counseling you can expect that your counselor will begin by taking your history. This provides an opportunity for the counselor to better understand you.
Counseling is the broad term that describes the primary treatment service we provide. This "talk therapy" has been proven to be effective in helping people with many different types of problems.