Frequently Asked Questions

What is Client-Centered Therapy?
Client-centered therapy is an approach to therapy based on the premise that we all have within us what we need to be healthy, happy and whole. Fully honoring and trusting this, the counselor joins with the client, more as partner than expert, to explore their unique life experience and perspective. Through this exploration the client gains insight into their own situation. A path forward then emerges that is unique to the individual and becomes a personal healing journey.

Can I see a counselor if I don’t have health insurance and I feel I can’t afford it?
Our goal is to provide everyone with the opportunity to participate in counseling services regardless of their financial situation. We do accept most forms of insurance, including private insurance, Badger Care, and Medicaid. When uninsured, it is often difficult to afford services. Lower-income Portage County residents may be eligible for a voucher for mental health services through Portage County Health and Human Services. The voucher covers the counseling fee at our agency and we will help guide you through the simple process of applying for the voucher program. We will always work with you to ensure you receive the help you seek.

Are the things I share in counseling kept private?
A state-certified professional counselor is governed by an ethical code which prohibits that counselor from divulging information shared in a session without the client’s express written consent. This is called the “practice of confidentiality”. Exceptions to this rule include if the client threatens harm to himself or others when he leaves the session. In this case, the counselor is bound by the law to take appropriate action.

What can I expect from my counselor?
Actually this should be a question a counselor could ask of a client. Each client has different expectations. At the very least, a client should expect his counselor to be a good listener, conduct themselves in a professional, warm and empathetic fashion, and protect the confidentiality of counseling sessions. In addition, you should
always feel that your goals and your agenda are the focus of the session. Your active feedback and participation in your own healing is paramount. Never be afraid to tell your counselor when he or she is off track and that you feel your needs are not being addressed.

Isn't counseling only for those who are mentally ill?
It's true that sometimes people come into therapy because they are truly suffering from some acute and deep seated psychological condition for which they need professional help. Often, however, people come into therapy for because they seek wise counsel from a professional on a personal matter, or they are simply in a
temporary situational dilemma for which they need support and guidance. Perhaps they would like to develop themselves more fully as a human being and would like some encouragement. A good counselor will not only be able to diagnose a mental health condition, but also be able to identify your strengths, talents, and aptitudes and help you move forward on your journey.

What Is the best type of counseling for depression?
Probably the most effective type of psychotherapy for depression is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This type of therapy focuses upon the role of thinking and belief systems as the root of depression. During therapy, the counselor works with the client to help them recognize their dysfunctional thoughts, emotions, and behaviors
and to change them to a more realistic perspective. Interpersonal therapy, which focuses on interpersonal relationships and coping with conflict, and family therapy may also be useful in certain cases. Psychodynamic therapy may be useful, too. Our counseling staff includes experts in all of these types of treatment.

Will my counselor prescribe medication?
No. Our counselors are licensed professionals certified by the State of Wisconsin. They are not certified to prescribe any kind of psychotropic medication such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers. If you and your counselor decide that medication might be helpful in the short-term, you will be referred to either a psychiatrist or a general practitioner.

How will I know if my therapy has been successful?
Great question. Therapy is successful not because your counselor says it is but because you feel it is. Plain and simple - you, the client, are the best measure of whether your sessions have been fruitful and whether your goals have been achieved. That is why it is paramount that your counselor continually asks for your feedback
to insure that both the individual sessions and the goals of your counseling are being consistently addressed in each individual session.

How long will I be in counseling?
Each counseling plan is unique and the length of treatment cannot be determined from the outset. Therapy depends on many factors unique to the individual and to the scope of issues to be addressed. Most clients will feel that counseling is completed when they feel that they have achieved their goals and that the change they've imagined for themselves is now happening. In the first or second session, clients usually complete a treatment plan and agree to meet for an agreed upon frequency and period of time. For some clients, meeting once a week is sufficient, while for others twice a week or every-other week seems right.

How long is each therapy session?
Therapy sessions typically last 50 (fifty) minutes to one hour. Depending on circumstances, a session may last only 30 (thirty) minutes. All assessments, whether for substance abuse or mental health, last 90 (ninety) minutes.

If I miss a session will I be charged?
We ask that you call within 24 hours of your appointment if you cannot make it, otherwise you will be charged. 
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