Frequently Asked Questions
Counseling is a designated time and place to focus on changes you want to make with the help of a professional mental health guide or companion. Counseling is a safe place to explore yourself, exorcise your demons, and/or learn to appreciate who you are as an individual. Some people seek counseling to come to terms with issues in their lives or learn to be more comfortable in their own skin.
Just like physical health care, mental health care is about when you have the need and motivation; whether you have the metaphoric equivalent of a sniffle, or a full-blown illness that too greatly inhibits your day to day life. Seeking counseling depends on when you feel it is a good idea to put the work and time into your self.
I will start by asking you what you want to accomplish in therapy. I help by listening and asking clarifying questions. As we talk about your goals we can discuss the differences between short and long-term psychotherapy. Longer term therapy allows us to pinpoint possible origins of behaviors that were once useful but may now interfere with your personal growth and goals. Identifying the sources of older maladaptive behaviors can often lead to solving many current worries.
Psychotherapy is built upon the value and trust of confidentiality between the therapist and the client. Ethical standards restrict counselors from disclosing personal and identifying information about our clients without a signed disclosure from the client or the client’s legal guardian. The only time counselors must disclose a client’s information and what is discussed in session is in the case of imminent harm to self or others and in the case of a judicial court order.
You can expect me to be honest and trustworthy. You can expect that I will use my critical thinking skills to help you re-examine aspects of your story from different perspectives. I will respect your opinions, your story, and your culture. I will be open-minded to your experiences and perspectives. You should also expect me to tell you if I feel that I am not your best option for the work you want to do, and in your best interest, refer you to other, highly qualified therapists until you do find the right fit. “Fit” and a good rapport with your therapist is one of the most important variables in successful therapy.
A “therapy hour” is 50 minutes in length. This allows therapists a few minutes between working with clients. Please be punctual; if you arrive late we will still have to end on time so my next session may start on schedule. Most people benefit from meeting at least once per week; more frequent appointments are possible. There may be occasional “homework” to do between sessions, which helps bring the work we do in session into your everyday life.
If you have any questions not addressed here I would be happy to answer them directly with you. You may have more specific questions about: how I would generally approach the work you want to accomplish, my background and practice, or other general questions about counseling.
Kara S. Posner, CMHC