What is the purpose of Counseling?
- The purpose/goal of mental health counseling is to help clients develop more adaptive and healthy patterns of thinking and behavior. This is done utilizing talk therapy suited to the client’s needs and developmental/intellectual level.
How often are appointments and how long do they last?
- Appointments are generally 30 minutes to an hour. The average appointment length is 40-45 minutes. Scheduling is done initially through the front desk and then with the counselor typically. There is a wait list for counseling services. Those on the list longest generally take priority when openings occur. However, if someone is severely in need exceptions are made for counseling to begin sooner.
- Counseling may take place in person at the clinic, telehealth, or a combination of in person and telehealth.
What kinds of things are done in a session?
- What happens in counseling is based on the needs of the client. Typically, this involves verbal communication to provoke new patterns of thinking and behaving. During sessions the counselor may introduce various games or outside time to encourage communication and appropriate social skills, or as a reward for exhibiting a desired behavior outside of counseling.
How long should my child need this kind of treatment?
- This varies based on the needs of the client and family. Some clients are in counseling for relatively brief periods (~3 months). Some clients are in counseling for years due to the chronic nature of condition(s). As the client progresses through counseling changes should be noticeable. It is not uncommon for problems to appear to worsen in some situations before improvement becomes apparent. Sessions are typically on a weekly basis to start and then can be spaced out longer as progress is made.
What is my role as parent/guardian in treatment?
- Parent participation varies based on the needs of the client and family. Often with younger children the parents attend each session. This can occur even with older children and teens based on the problems being addressed. If a person other than the client’s legal guardian needs to be in session the guardian must sign a release of information prior to the session giving permission.
- Parents and Guardians are important to the counseling process as the counselor will need your eyes and ears outside of counseling. Typically, parents and guardians will give an update of the week and important events whether positive or negative. At times parents/guardians will be given specific items to work on between sessions, and/or things to look for (behaviors, attitude shifts, new skills, etc).