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Common Questions About Counseling

How can therapy help?
Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing mental illness, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the stresses of daily life. They can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or help you find a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. In other words, you get back what you put into it. 

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships or solving problems
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
  • Managing serious mental illness

Do I really need therapy?  
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

What should I ask myself as I consider Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center?

  • What do I hope to gain from therapy? Will this therapist help me do that?
  • Am I comfortable with this therapist? Would I want to come back?  Remember: The most important factor in securing effective therapy is a good relationship between you and your therapist.
  • Do I feel assured that the therapist is qualified to help me with the issues or concerns that have motivated me to seek therapy at this time?
  • Am I willing to do the work necessary to participate in therapy?

I tried therapy before and it didn’t work, why should I try it again?
Sometimes the chemistry between the therapist and client or the therapeutic modality just isn’t a good fit. Just as you sometimes have to switch medication, you may need to switch therapists or treatment philosophies to achieve success. Therapy works best when you are open to it and are willing to participate in your own healing. Timing may be a factor as well. If you are not ready to commit to change, you may not be ready for therapy to be effective.

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to counseling. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions or relationship problems.  Therapy can help provide some much-needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may find it useful to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking therapy are ready to meet the challenges life presents and ready to make a change. 

What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, it will always be different, depending on the individual.  You can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issues and report progress (or any new insights gained) from previous sessions.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting behaviors or acting on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.   

What about medication for my problems?  
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, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. We do have staff that can assist with medications.

What if I am late for my session?
We understand that life happens!  We will hold your session for you, however it will impact the amount of time you have for your counseling session. For example, if you have scheduled a 30-minute session and are 10 minutes late, your remaining time with your counselor is 20 minutes.

What if I have to cancel my appointment?
You must cancel your appointment more than 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time. If you cancel within 24 hours of your appointment, or have 3 or more times that you no show for a scheduled appointment, you may lose the privilege of the same time slot and it could result in a reset in requested fee adjustments.

Do you take insurance? 
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?
  • Is pre-authorization required by my plan in order to receive mental health benefits?
  • 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 therapist. 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 their 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 (your Physician, a child’s teacher, your Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission, outside of sharing the necessary information for treatment coordination, payment and under certain court orders.

 

Please note: State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for 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.