Who Goes to Counseling?
The short and easy answer is, “All sorts of people!” I have worked as a therapist in San Diego with individuals and couples since 2001 for a multitude of reasons. Years ago, therapy had a stigma attached to it. It was believed you had to be either very disturbed or “weak” to seek it out. Fortunately, times have changed and now people from all walks of life and all different backgrounds go to counseling for a variety of reasons and it’s considered a normal and healthy resource.
Technology has also changed allowing more people to access counseling through online counseling. Just as you would seek out a personal trainer if you wanted to see better workout results, many people choose a therapist to see better results in areas relating to emotions, relationships, career, and their overall well-being.
People seek counseling for a variety of issues. Some of the reasons include a desire for personal growth, managing stress, codependency, tackling substance abuse issues, improving relationships and communication skills, navigating temporary bouts or long periods of depression or anxiety more effectively and better understanding one’s past and how it impacts life, mood, and relationships in the present day.
Whatever your reason for considering counseling, I’m sure it’s a good one. If you are in doubt or have any questions about beginning counseling, please contact me with your concerns. I’d be happy to talk with you so call (619) 318-1901 to get in touch today.
How Long Does Counseling Take?
This is a question I’m often asked which is almost impossible to answer because there are so many variables involved. It depends upon the nature and depth of issues being explored, client goals, the strengths and limitations of clients, and how much work is done outside of session. The answer ultimately lies with my clients as they know better than I their initial goals and progress made in counseling.
If you are seeking short term therapy, I will work very hard to tailor sessions to your targeted goals so you can have your specific needs met in a brief period of time. If your goals are less specific and you wish to work on a deeper or broader level, I’ll work within that framework as well. The length of counseling ultimately depends upon the number of issues wanting to be addressed, the breadth of the problem(s), and the work completed between sessions to facilitate change. But, the process is a collaboration and I will always want to check in regarding your progress and satisfaction.
There is often a difference in duration between individual counseling and couples counseling. The course of counseling is usually shorter for couples as compared to individuals. This is because the goals of couples are usually very specific, whereas the goals of many individuals are often broader. Whether seeking individual counseling or couples counseling, my clients are usually the best judge and know when to keep going and when to stop. It’s most always apparent to both of us! I encourage my clients to trust their intuition… they know when they have made significant inroads towards desired change. And, I will see that change echoed throughout session in various ways.
How Does Counseling Work?
I try to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with no pressure. I encourage each of my clients to take a session at a time and assess for themselves if they feel they are benefiting from counseling. Normally, people know this very quickly. Once work begins, I try to pinpoint unhealthy patterns of thinking and reacting and suggest more healthy ways of responding to people and situations.
Making these changes is usually difficult and even scary, and I support my clients through this period. Counseling is a success through the efforts of both therapist and client. I do my best to suggest and guide, and clients need to work hard between sessions to chip away at old modes of behaving and thinking. This, in turn, facilitates changes in feeling.
How Often Do I Come for Counseling?
This is an individual decision. While I definitely have suggestions regarding how often I think someone should have counseling sessions, the decision is ultimately up to each client.
Most of my clients meet with me weekly, but some come every other week and some even less. It’s customary to begin meeting weekly and when you are making progress, you may wish to reduce the number of times you see me and “taper down.” I’m flexible and ultimately want you to choose the schedule you’re comfortable with. But, I will definitely speak up and voice my suggestions for my client to consider if I see a strong need.
How Do I Make an Appointment?
The easiest way to make an appointment is to use my online scheduler. If you are unsure about starting therapy, please feel free to contact me with any questions. If you would like to make an appointment, the best way is to call me and we can discuss times and days that work for your schedule. If it’s more convenient to email me, you may also use the contact form.
Do You Accept Health Insurance?
No, I don’t accept insurance. But, you may be able to utilize your insurance benefits by asking your insurance company if you have out of network benefits. If so, I can provide you with the necessary and completed paperwork for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. The amount reimbursed varies and you would need to talk that over with your insurance company.
Why Don’t You Accept Health Insurance?
I don’t accept insurance because of issues surrounding privacy, control and medical diagnosis. Insurance companies limit and monitor the number of sessions a client is able to have, dictate how a therapist is able to work with a client and require a medical diagnosis be made which becomes a permanent part of your medical record. Ethically, I have a hard time diagnosing someone with a mental disorder because most of my clients are not ill and deserving of such a label. Confidentiality is also weakened as they have access to your notes and records upon demand. For those reasons, I have chosen not to accept insurance.